15 Sep 7 WAYS TO BRING FALL INTO YOUR LANDSCAPE DESIGN
There’s nothing like a crisp autumn day to put a spring in my step, and that extra energy often goes towards making my landscape a cozy place for relaxing and gathering.
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7 Ideas to Bring Fall to Your Landscape Design
Plants. Every good landscape starts with a backbone of evergreen trees and shrubs, and brought to life with seasonal flowering perennials. By now you’ve cleaned up your garden from the summer — anything that is dead or weary has been removed, and the fall rains have revived its soul. Fall bloomers that seemed to fade into the background during the hot months now show off their fall wardrobe. I love the fall garden more than any other because its personality is one of warmth, coziness, and peace.
Container gardens. For me, autumn is a time for container plants to take center stage. All of the fall-colored annuals (mums, croton, pansies, snapdragons) in shades of purple, yellow, and orange pop when placed in and around the fall garden with its green backdrop. Add in some spots of silver that can transition into the colder months, nestle in some smaller pumpkins, and you’ve got mini-gardens to delight both you and your visitors.
Fire pits. While summertime fires remind me of summer camp, autumn fires recall times of frosty campouts, outdoor cooking, and intimate conversations. Build a permanent fire pit or use a mobile one. Ours is a heavy cast iron cauldron that we picked up somewhere years ago — we’ve situated flat-topped boulders around it for seating, and decomposed granite under our feet. It’s the perfect place for marshmallow toasting, scary story swapping, and romantic smooching.
Mulch. I can hear it already. “Mulch? How is that cozy?” you might say. It’s cozy because I think of it as putting a blanket down over my garden in the fall. Just when Mother Nature starts to drop tree leaves, I add a 2” layer of shredded mulch. The earthy aroma makes this gardener happy, and the dark color instantly warms up the garden — especially wonderful after a long, hot, and dry summer.
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Accessories. Fall is the perfect time to swap out the tropical-colored, beach-themed pillows and décor on your patio or deck. I have a second set of pillows that are more muted, and when I’m expecting company, I sometimes bring harvest-hued blankets or throws outside to my benches. It’s not unusual to have my friends sitting around the fire pit, wrapped in a toasty knitted throw. Don’t forget candlelight, either! My favorite way to add a warm glow is with inexpensive tea lights and free mason jars from my cupboard.
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Pumpkins. This may not seem like a unique idea, but to me, it’s all in the pumpkin choice and application. I typically forego the standard medium orange Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins for those with white or dark orange/red skins. I once attended a garden tour at a nearby arboretum in the fall, and they lined all of the beds with identically colored pumpkins. While not the most inexpensive of options, there’s no denying it was a charming showstopper.
Hay bales. Planning a fall-themed gathering? Pop over to your local feed store (usually located on the outskirts of most major cities) and pick up some hay bales for seating. At about $12/each, they’re an affordable addition to your party. When the party’s over, reuse the hay bales as décor with pumpkins by your entryway, feed to any farm or homestead animals you might have, or add some to the compost pile.