Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

3 Ways to Prepare the Flower Garden For Fall 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.

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
Compared to a few weeks ago, the Echinacea is still blooming but fading.

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 stop feeding them after this last one because we want to encourage them to go dormant in preparation for winter.

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
Knockout Roses


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 Chrysanthemums 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!

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
Sedum Autumn Joy flowers are starting to bloom. As they bloom, the chartreuse heads are starting to pink up.I love how the other perennials look behind it in the background.

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
The Foxgloves I just planted in spring are blooming again!
Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
I love these Dahlia blooms and want to compliment them with some fall annuals.
Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
Hydrangea Paniculata is blooming. Love those spikey flowers!

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

Mailbox Garden

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!

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
I know this garden looks like it got a bad haircut, but I will add some plants to fill in that space. As the Daylilly foliage grows back, it will look healthier and compliment whatever plants I add.

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
I love how these spring annuals compliment one another and add fall color! When shopping for spring annuals, ask yourself if you will get fall color from them too. You can get more bang for your buck if the annuals you purchase in spring do double duty in fall.

Well Garden

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.

I love the red foliage tips on this Smoketree!
Callicarpa is growing its berries after flowering. I love the soft arching branches of this shrub. And the foliage is starting to change to a chartreuse color too.
Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
How pretty is Caryopteris? I love those blue blooms!

Sideyard Garden

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!

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
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.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea
As much as I love Hydrangea blooms, I grow Oak Leaf Hydrangea for the fall foliage color. Eventually, these leaves will turn crimson red.

Backyard Gardens

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 is in the background.

Backyard Border

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!

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!

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
This might be my favorite view of the backyard border.
Joe Pye, Dark Horse Wiegela and Plume Poppies. Dark Horse Wiegela’s foliage has been turning to this chartreuse color.
Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
I love the tricolor foliage on this Leucothoe.
Butterfly Bush
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.
Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
The Endless Summer Hydrangea finally got her bloom on.

Deck Gardens

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.

My houseplants are super happy outside! 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!

I love this view!!!
Dumb Cane, Christmas Cactus and Spider Plant. My Christmas Cactus blooms a few times a year and it is probably my favorite houseplant!
Spider Plant
Spider Plant
I love this coleus! I wasn’t sure how it would vibe with fall, but the vibrant pink is starting to mute like some of my other plants.
Double Flowering Impatiens
I love these Double Flowering Impatiens but they do make a mess!
My Hibiscus Standard is still blooming but even these blooms are not as vibrant as they once were in July.
Shade Container Idea
Shade Container with Caladiums.

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.

Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
Lots of cozy nights are spent here in front of the fire!
Sedum Autumn Joy
I love how the Double Flowering Impatiens in the back compliments the emerging Sedum blooms.
Preparing the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings
Now that Ornamental Grass has its fronds, this garden is looking more autumnal.
View of my berry and vegetable gardens from my deck.

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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3 Ways to Prepare the Flower Garden For Fall Plantings

Preparing the Flower Garden for Fall Plantings

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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:

Thank you for following along. Happy planting – enjoy your day! xo

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  1. Do you cut your bee balm down in early fall? Mine still is blooming, but, some have that mildew look that I’m not fond of.

    1. Hey Laura! I generally cut mine back once it’s done flowering because it usually gets that powdery mildew too. If the flowers are pretty done and its starting to get that mildew, I’d cut it back to neaten up the appearance.

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