Looking for ways to prepare your garden for fall? Here are three ways to prepare the flower garden for plantings.
As I mentioned last week, this is about the time when the flower garden starts to look messy to me.
Perennials are fading and toppling over.
Some are overgrown and spilling onto the walkway.
And since it has cooled down enough to do some small tasks in the gardens, I’m ready to get back at it!
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Deadheading and Cutting Back Perennials
I started deadheading spent flowers and cutting back overgrown perennials.
While still flowering, the Echinacea, is fading to a soft, beigey-pink and falling over on top of other plants.
I cut some of those back and kept the ones that still look pretty good and offer nectar to the pollinators.
At this point, my Catmint is so overgrown that I sheared it back about halfway to uncover the front walkway and garden border.
I’m hoping to get another set of blooms before the growing season winds down.
I also cut back some Daylilly foliage that looked really unkempt.
Now that it’s cut back, there is room to plant more fall color where I don’t have room.
There are a few other plants I started cleaning up and cutting back to neaten up the gardens’ appearance, but overall, the work is pretty light.
Last Feed for the Roses
My Knockout Roses will get fed one more time before the season ends.
One feeding lasts about six weeks, so that should keep them blooming through October.
It is important to stop feeding them after this last one because we want to encourage them to go dormant in preparation for winter.
The weeds continue to grow and get pulled. It is a lot of work to manage all the beds, but I do what I can when I can.
Truth be told, I enjoy sitting out there in the fresh air, listening to some good tunes, and pulling weeds.
It’s very peaceful and I don’t mind doing it when the temps are not in excess of 80 degrees.
Look for Inspiration for Fall Plants and Flowers
Now that fall is approaching, I will start visiting the nursery to see what’s out and pick up some fall color.
It is also a great time to start thinking about adding new perennials, shrubs, and/or trees to the gardens.
Fall is a great time to plant and nurseries start selling their stock off at a discount in October.
One thing I want to mention…while mums are available for sale right now, it is still too early to plant them.
They do not like hot and humid temps.
So although it has cooled down a little bit, it will get hot again before it officially cools down for fall.
I know stores have them out now but RESIST THE TEMPTATION and wait a few more weeks.
They will be much easier to care for and will look better for longer.
While we walk around the gardens this week, I’ll talk about some of the changes I made to prepare for fall plantings.
Come Tour My Gardens
The gardens look so good after cleaning them up!
I spent some time deadheading and cutting plants back and they look so much better.
Front Entry Garden
I probably spent the most time in this bed because there was a lot of work to do.
While the Echinacea is still flowering, it was falling over and crowding some of the other plants.
I could have propped them up with a stake but opted to cut them back instead.
There are a few that are showing signs of putting out more blooms, so I cut those back a little to encourage the flowers.
Overall, I love how this garden looks and can’t wait to tuck in some fall color!
The mailbox garden got a little facelift this week.
We replaced the old white mailbox that was falling apart with this pretty oil rubbed bronze one. It looks so much better!
I cut the Daylillies back that flank the Sedum.
The foliage was not looking good anymore and I wanted to make some room for some fall plants.
As an aside, I’m really happy that I chose to plant yellow Marigolds, Purple Petunias and Euphorbia annuals in the gardens this year.
They not only added spring color but are doing double duty with fall color as well!
The shining star of the well garden is Caryopteris.
In case you are not familiar, it is a very pretty late summer blue-flowering shrub.
The bees love it and I love how it looks next to Zebra Grass and Smoketree.
The woodland garden on the side of my house is looking better than it ever has.
This used to be the last garden I would get to work in.
But now that my kids are getting older, I have a little more time to spend in my gardens again.
There are a lot less weeds now!
Oak Leaf Hydrangea’s foliage are starting to turn orange, Cranesbill is getting a yellowish hue, Sumac brightens up the back of the border with its chartreuse foliage and Joe Pye Weed is still doing its thing!
I love how this garden coordinates with the backyard border. It looks so pretty!
Joe Pye is flanked by Cranesbill and Sumac is just behind it (this is not the poisonous or invasive Sumac btw).
Notice the foliage on Cranesbill is starting to change from green to chartreuse with some yellow and red tones.
Although it is no longer blooming, the change in foliage color will add fall color to this border.
As much as I love Hydrangea blooms, I grow Oak Leaf Hydrangea for the fall foliage color.
Eventually, these leaves will turn crimson red.
The backyard gardens look incredible right now. It’s amazing how much these borders have changed over the last few weeks!
I don’t usually show this view, but my berry garden is to the right and the shed and fire pit garden are in the background.
The backyard border looks so amazing right now!
I love how the Ornamental Grasses grew their fronds, Joe Pye is still flowering, and the Plume Poppies look like a tall ornamental grass.
That plant does not disappoint!
This might be my favorite view of the backyard border.
I’m also happy to report that my Endless Summer Hydrangea is officially blooming!
It has one gorgeous flower head on it now, but there are several others waiting in the wings…yay!
This is Joe Pye, Dark Horse Wiegela, and Plume Poppies.
Dark Horse Wiegela’s foliage has been turning to this chartreuse color.
Isn’t it so pretty?
I also love the tricolor foliage on this Leucothoe.
It adds a lot of texture and interest to the shadier part of my garden.
In the backyard garden, there is a shady section that holds several varieties of hostas.
I love to play around with foliage color to brighten up shady areas.
And I know some are not fans of their flowers, but the pollinators love them so I let them bloom all summer long.
I just planted this Butterfly Bush a few months ago and it is still blooming.
I used to have more, but they were destroyed during Super Storm Sandy a few years ago and I just never replanted until now.
Butterfly bush is one of my favorite plants that attract butterflies.
It is not unheard of to see 10-15 butterflies on one plant when it is in full bloom.
The Endless Summer Hydrangea finally got her bloom on.
Remember when I was telling you how she was struggling to bloom this year?
The deck gardens are still looking lush and beautiful.
My resident groundhog stopped by a few times but hasn’t done too much damage to the containers since we have been home from vacation.
There has been a lot of growth since they started summering outdoors.
They look really good and add life to the deck without spending money on more annuals!
This corner of my deck is housing Dumb Cane, Christmas Cactus, and Spider Plant.
I bring my houseplants outside where they get fresh air, light, and water.
Much like people, they enjoy a good summer vacation outside too.
My Christmas Cactus blooms a few times a year.
It is probably my favorite houseplant.
I love when it blooms, particularly when it is indoors.
Plus it is SO easy to care for.
I love this coleus!
Isn’t it so pretty?
That foliage is really something.
I wasn’t sure how it would vibe with fall, but the vibrant pink is starting to mute like some of my other plants.
I plant double-flowering impatiens every year because I love the blooms.
But they do make a mess when they drop.
So keep that in mind if you decide to care for them on your deck or patio.
My Hibiscus Standard is still blooming but even these blooms are not as vibrant as they once were in July.
I grow these yearly as an annual.
If I had a greenhouse, I’d overwinter them indoors.
But I just don’t have the room in my house with all my other houseplants.
Fire Pit Garden
I am so glad we added this fire pit area in spring.
We use it often and it looks so amazing!
This corner used to house a bunch of wood debris so this is a welcome change from what it used to look like!
To see the before and after of the fire pit area, click here.
It’s a great spot to hang with the family.
We enjoy sitting out here roasting marshmallows.
And listening to good tunes of course.
Lots of cozy nights are spent here in front of the fire!
Now that my kids are older we are considering removing the playset.
But it’s hard to part with it.
Maybe next year we’ll get around to taking it down.
Speaking of those double flowering impatiens, I love how the blooms compliment the emerging Sedum blooms.
Isn’t that a pretty combination?
I love when a good plant combination happens that I didn’t plan.
What Do You Think?
How is your garden doing this year?
Now that it is starting to cool down, I’m happy to get back out in the garden.
With fall approaching, I love to see how the garden is slowing down and changing with the new season.
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Follow My Weekly Garden Tour
I hope you enjoyed this week’s garden tour and appreciate you joining me!
If you missed a few tours or want to see how the garden has progressed during the growing season, you can see them here:
- 10 Gorgeous Bulbs and Early Spring Perennial Ideas
- Cool Season Vegetables and Spring Flowers
- Growth, Change and Everblooming Design
- Growth and Transition in the Spring Garden
- Container Gardens and Outdoor Living Spaces
- Adding Color with Annuals
- The Importance of a Tidy Border
- How to Create a Hummingbird Garden
- Spring to Summer Transition
- Summer Perennials, Pest and Disease Control
- Summer Gardening and Patriotic Decor
- Caring for Gardens While On Vacation
- How to Create a Butterfly Garden
- Midsummer Flowers
- Summer to Fall Transition in the Garden
- Tidying Up the Late Summer Flower Garden
- 3 Ways to Prepare the Flower Garden for Fall Plantings (You are here)
- Best Plant for the Fall Garden
- Fall Garden Tip that Will Save You Money
- Easy Fall Garden Maintenance Tip
Thank you for following along.
Happy planting – enjoy your day! xo