Autumn is one of the most colourful times of year, yellows, reds, and burnt oranges can be seen everywhere from inner city parks to countryside hedgerows. While these oranges are common there are also an abundance of colours that can complement, or contrast with autumnal browns and so getting colours in your garden in the autumn can be quite easy!
Autumnal Events in Your Garden
With summer fading you may think that the time spent in your garden will be reduced, but autumn offers some great seasonal celebrations that are traditionally spent in back gardens across the UK. Halloween and Bonfire Night are fun, family affairs where the whole family can get wrapped up and spend time toasting marshmallows around a fire pit, enjoying spinning Catherine wheels and spectacular fireworks. Making sure your garden is autumn season ready will ensure the backdrop so these fun events look spectacular and with a bit of garden planning, or help from a garden designer, can require little effort from you to achieve great results.
Autumnal Garden Inspiration
A well planned garden should look well-tended, rich and full of life at any time of year, and a change in seasons is a great opportunity to review your planting schedule and refresh your thinking. Finding inspiration for your autumn garden can come from anywhere, visiting open gardens near you, (check out these top 10 gardens for autumnal inspiration from the Telegraph)
or from the latest designer fashions. Furs, velvets, ruffles and all things textures were on the runway for the AW2016 collections from the major fashion houses.
You can translate this into a garden by choosing fussy flowers and voluptuous blooms, add velvet cushions, throws and textured blankets to your outdoor furniture and add extra lighting so you can enjoy your garden into the evening when the weather is cool, crisp and fine.
Inspiration for your autumnal garden can come from just about anywhere, from countryside walks admiring the colours, to paintings at your local gallery or tips from your favourite celebrity gardener!
Add Colour with Planting
There is no reason why your autumnal garden cannot be bursting with colour. Whether you want pops of bright flowers or a more subtle bronzed hue, choosing plants that fit with your garden design and also give great colour is possible throughout autumn.
Here are a few top plants that can add great colour to your garden:
Helenium - More commonly called Sneezeweed, this is a plant that originates in North America so should grow fairly well in UK conditions. The flowers form in clumps and look like upper class daisies. Different varieties can produce shocking yellows, as with the Butterpat, or magnificent oranges, as with the more quirkily named Sahin’s Early Flowerer.
Coneflower - Another popular and colourful plant is the coneflower which also comes in a few different varieties to suit most gardens. These are highly attractive to butterflies with their central disks and come in sublime purples and lavenders and even the odd shocking pink.
Verbena - Flowering through the summer and well into autumn, verbena is a perennial that adds a touch of class to any garden. The Bonariensis hails from Argentina and has small purple flowers but there are other varieties that come in shocking pinks such as the Verbena Sissinghurst.
Bergamot Squaw - If you want to add a pure splash of vibrant red to your garden this autumn, Bergamot Squaw is a good choice. It blooms into early autumn and looks brilliant with its double lipped tubular flowers.
Japanese Anemone - Clean, white, delicate, the Japanese Anemone has a central ring of yellow stamens that make it one of the most beautiful flowers in the garden. They’re great for flower borders and look impressive in any setting. The only thing you may have to watch is that they can spread quite quickly once they’ve bedded in. If you like the look and smell of them, that might not be such a problem.
Dahlia - If you want something that looks ornate, then the Dahlia David Howard has an intricate web of petals, flowing out from a central bulb. While they flower well into autumn, if you want them again for next year then you should lift out the tubers and store them away for winter, planting again in spring.
Flat-Stalked Spindle Tree - If you want a plant that looks unusual in your autumnal garden, then the spindle tree is one pretty good option. When summer fades you’ll find its leaves turning to a sensual crimson which can look magnificent in the right setting, particularly at sunset.
Choosing the best plants to flower and change colour in autumn means that your garden continues to be a haven for those few months before the onset of winter. Mixing different types of flower can transform any area into a wonderland of brilliant hues and enticing smells. And if the autumn is fairly mild you should be able to attract some colourful butterflies and hungry bees into the bargain.
Having the garden you want in the autumn is easily achievable but may take some forward planning. For those with a keen interest in gardening you can make notes about what works well in a garden journal, taking notes on what plants turn well at the change of season, or ideas for next year. For expert help in designing or planning a garden at any time of year the services of a garden designer, for advice on planning the space you have, or creating planting schedules is indispensable.