The first brisk evening of fall broke through the warmth of summer and suddenly awakened us to the arrival of the season. It seems that one day we are enjoying long days and picnics, and the next day we are greeted with fall soccer and early morning frosts. These crisp nights also tend to herald the end of our gardening season. The less hardy plants start to wilt and die and your garden starts to turn brown.
The thought of all your hard work steadily disappearing with each falling leaf is a disappointing, albeit inevitable, end to the summer. So, don’t let it be the end of your garden season! Take back fall with your flower boxes and hanging baskets, as they are a great way to extend your gardening season beyond Halloween, and even extend the color of your garden into Thanksgiving. Once your summer annuals are done blooming, it’s time to start working on some plants and flowers that will last longer in your hardiness zone. Don’t forget that some plants will look great in your flower boxes even after the first frost and will provide color later in the year.
Chrysanthemums, or daisies, are very common and colorful fall flowers. Today’s gardeners have many different varieties, including some very hardy plants that can be perennials all the way to zone 5! Chrysanthemums also make great container plants. Chrysanthemums are also great container plants and work very well in flower boxes. Choose 2-3 different colors to provide a nice, varied display. If you wish, you can use a palette of fall colors such as orange, yellow and dark red. They match your traditional Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.
Pansies are a great way to add some vibrant color to your fall flower boxes. While pansies are not tough enough to last as perennials in winter areas, they thrive in the cooler weather that fall offers and some varieties can even survive light snow. Pansies come in a wide variety of colors, making them a great choice for filling gaps in flower boxes or hanging baskets.
Ornamental cabbages and kale provide great foliage centerpieces around which to build fall flower boxes and hanging baskets. There are several different varieties, all of which come in different shapes and sizes. As the weather gets colder, these plant centers become brighter in color and really provide a great color base for fall flower boxes and hanging baskets.
Don’t let fall by the end of your beautiful garden. With a little research and care, you can have flower boxes and hanging baskets that will extend your growing season and bring extra color and beauty to your outdoor decor at a time of year when most people give up.