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5 Easy Ways to Planting for Fall Garden Design

Looking for ways to enjoy your garden for fall? Follow these planting for fall garden design tips that is full of flowers and foliage.

For this month’s garden tour, I thought we could chat about planting for fall gardens that will bring more flowers and colorful foliage to your gardens.

In my gardening zone 6a in northwest New Jersey, we are just starting to see the foliage change.

The leaves have been falling.

And the fall garden flowers have those autumnal hues.

It’s so pretty here right now, but the fall season is just getting underway.

Wait until you see how pretty everything looks while we talk about ways to plant for fall garden color.

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5 Ways to Planting for a Fall Garden

To plant a garden that’s always in bloom, it’s important to consider a few things so we get lots of color throughout the growing season.

Whether we get that color through blooms or foliage, the gardens look full and beautiful all the time because something is always happening in the beds.

And if you want to get that cottage garden vibe too, check out THESE tips.

planting for fall garden beauty with annuals and perennials in front of garden shed
The backyard cottage garden

Fall Bloom Time

For starters, it’s important to look at when flowers bloom when planting for a fall garden.

Look for the best fall garden flowers that will be in bloom from August-ish through October if possible.

And if you are looking for other fall planting ideas, check out this post that shares what to plant in a fall garden.

close up of penhill watermelon dahlia
Dahlias are gorgeous late summer and fall garden flowers. Dahlia ‘Penhill Watermelon’
close up of cafe au lait dahlia - Dahlias in cottage garden -Planting for fall garden beauty with dahlias
My dahlia ‘Cafe Au Laits’ finally bloomed! Better late than never.
19 Easy-to-Find plants for fall garden containers

Types of Fall Flowers

In addition to looking at bloom time, choose flowers that have different shapes, color, and sizes.

Different flower types with various shapes and sizes will add lots of texture and dimension in the gardens.

When you are shopping around at the garden nursery, each one likely has different stock so shop around to see what inspires you.

You may not find all of the plants you want to use at the same nursery.

plants for fall garden

Plant in Groupings

Depending on the size of your garden and plant varieties, plant in odd numbers.

Looking back at how I designed and planted my gardens, I would plant more of the same perennials in larger groupings.

You’ll achieve a greater visual impact and it’s more pleasing to the eye to see larger groupings of the same plant instead of a bunch of different plants.

Fall garden in front of tan house with black door and a walkway with front steps

When I first started gardening here, I tried to squeeze different varieties in my half acre landscape, so I squeezed smaller groupings in.

It looks pretty, but as I’m moving through my gardening years, I’m leaning towards larger drifts of plants that provide a greater impact in the garden.

So depending on what you want and how large your gardening area is, consider the size of your groupings.

fall garden flowers with asters, sedum autumn joy and zinnias in front of suburban center hall colonial home

Foliage Color

In addition to the blooms, look at plant foliage color, texture and dimension.

Don’t underestimate the power of foliage color both in fall and throughout the gardening season.

Even if a plant does not bloom or produces insignificant blooms, the foliage can have a huge visual impact in the garden.

DIY Birdhouse in fall garden with limelight hydrangea flowers -How to Build a Birdhouse

While shopping around, look for different types of foliage that compliment each other.

And, consider how that foliage changes in fall.

Because even when those flowers fade, that foliage adds a huge impact to the overall garden design.

Some plants get amazing fall foliage color just before the leaves fall and they are worth adding to your landscape.

hostas, joe pye weed and wood picket fence panel ingarden nj shade garden
fall gardens and curb appeal ideas with tan center hall colonial -Limelight Hydrangeas are the best fall flowers

Plan Ahead When Planting for Fall Garden

While this is one of my money-saving gardening tips, it is worth planning ahead to the fall garden when planting spring annuals.

If you choose plants with colors and textures that will look amazing in both spring and autumn, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money when you start planting for the fall garden.

In spring, I tend to gravitate to marigolds, euphorbias, petunias, and nasturtiums to keep the garden going throughout fall.

But there are so many other options out there to choose from.

So see what’s available in at your garden nursery and keep that in mind when purchasing plants in spring.

dahlias in the front yard fall garden
Plants for fall garden that include asters, marigolds and sedum autumn joy
The bright yellow marigolds (need to be deadheaded LOL) but look so festive for fall with sedum autumn joy and these gorgeous asters.

Perennials vs. Annuals? What Should You Plant

When planting for the fall garden, I’m often asked what’s better to plant, annuals vs. perennials.

And the answer is…

planting for fall garden design on the potting bench with terra cotta pots, pumpkins and garden mums

It really depends on how much work you want to do and your fall gardening budget.

I prefer to have more perennials in my gardens than annuals because they are easier and come back every year.

BUT, I tuck in annuals to get that seasonal color that just won’t quit while the perennials grow and change during the season.

So it’s really all a matter of preference.

close up of Dahlias Jowey Winnie
Dahlia ‘Jowey Winnie’
garden NJ in late summer with joe pye weed, japanese anemones and a garden shed in the backyard garden

Want to See the Full Fall Garden Tour?

Click on the video below and walk the beds with me!

YouTube video

Looking for More Flower Garden Ideas?

If you love flowers and want to grow more in your garden, here are some posts that will get you on your way.

From tucking in flowering plants that are deer-resistant or ones that attract more butterflies and hummingbirds, to shade-loving flowers like the lenten rose, these posts will get you on your way to growing a garden that will bring joy for years to come.

Here are more cut flower and cottage garden growing tips, tricks, and design inspiration.

view of the front porch cottage garden with sugar pumpkins, sedum autumn joy, rudbeckia, celosia and snapdragons

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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  1. I’m loving this post, Stacy! Your garden looks so pretty. We have a lot of the same flowers blooming right now.

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