Stacy Ling
Dahlias are the best fall garden flowers

The Best Fall Garden Flowers

October 17, 2020 24 Comments

With autumn in full swing, fall garden flowers are bold and bright while the foliage changes and falls. It is such a beautiful time of year and the best time to garden.

Typically, New Jersey has erratic weather in September and October. One week it can be really warm, then the next, it’s really cold. We usually get our first frost in October but it can range, depending on the year.

This season, October has been incredibly mild. So my garden is still thriving!

Looking ahead to next week, there is still no frost in sight! Which is almost unheard of in all of my years of gardening here.

Since everything still looks pretty amazing, my fall garden flowers are at their peak.

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The Best Fall Garden Flowers

I’m thrilled to be joining my good friends in the Fabulous Fall Garden Tour today! If you stopped by from Cecilia’s over at the My Thrift Store Addiction welcome to my garden. She is such a great friend and has the most beautiful home and garden!

The Best Fall Garden Flowers

While not a complete list, these fall garden flowers are doing wonderfully in the garden right now.

Dahlias

I mean, how spectacular are these dahlias? I am pretty new to the dahlia scene because they require a little more work than native plants, but wow are they something!

Dahlias - How to Dry Flowers

Because I have so many blooms right now, I cut a few to see if the flowers would dry well. And I’m happy to report they they look amazing while they are drying!

So I am planning to cut all the blooms just before the first frost and dry the flowers to use in my decor.

How to Dry Flowers

In the meantime though, I’m going to cut a few to enjoy indoors while they are still blooming. These are my cafe au lait dahlias and I NEED to grow these again next year. They started blooming in early August and still look amazing now!

dahlias are the best fall flowers

Hydrangeas

Speaking of drying flowers, I’ve been drying my hydrangea blooms too! Last year, my ever blooming hydrangeas struggled to flower. But this year, they are doing fabulous and still going strong!

I’ve been cutting the flowers to enjoy inside and drying them to tuck in some vintage crates.

How to Propagate Hydrangeas in 7 Easy Steps

How to Dry a Hydrangea the Easy Way

But you’ve got to see the limelight hydrangeas that I planted last fall! They did really well this year and are putting on quite a show in my cutting garden.

Limelight Hydrangeas are the best fall flowers

Don’t they look gorgeous with the plumes of zebra grass and sedum autumn joy? These hydrangea blooms are perfect for drying right now too!

Best fall garden flowers

Beautyberry

And while we are on the subject of the cutting garden, my favorite shrub is this callicarpa, aka beautyberry. Although it doesn’t flower in fall, it produces these amazing purple berries that are just stunning in the fall garden.

Best Fall Garden Flowers

I first fell in love with beautyberry when I was walking Freylinghuysen Arboretum many years ago. When I first saw it, I knew I had to have it. So I planted it here and love how this limelight hydrangea pairs with it.

Isn’t that a gorgeous fall plant combination?

Limelight Hydrangeas and Beautyberry are the best fall garden flowers

Sedum Autumn Joy

One of my favorite fall garden flowers is sedum autumn joy. Do you have any in your garden? They are one of the best plants for the fall garden because they are super easy to care for, propagate easily and do so much in the garden.

Sedum autumn joy is one of the best fall garden flowers

To me, they are a four season plant. Here’s why:

  • When it breaks ground in spring it adds lushness to the growing garden.
  • In summer, it produces chartreuse flower heads that brighten up summer borders, adding color, texture and dimension.
  • As summer transitions to fall, sedum autumn joy flower heads slowly open to a light pink and deepen in color as the fall season progresses.
  • After the blooms dry out in fall, the flower heads can be used in planters for winter. And if left in the garden, look amazing with snow sitting on them.

best fall garden flowers

Because sedum autumn joy is so easy to divide, I started the shed garden with several plant divisions and have it in every garden.

(As an aside, I am really glad I gave this garden shed a makeover in spring. Wait until you see what it looked like before. This garden loos so much better now.)

Best fall garden flowers

best fall garden flowers

Asters

Another one of my favorite fall garden flowers is asters. Don’t you just love that shade of purple? I need to divide these asters this year so I can tuck a few more around the gardens.

Best fall garden flowers

Garden Tip for Growing Asters: Keep the plant cut back halfway until July 4 to encourage a bushy habit. Without cutting it back, asters get very leggy.

Pansies

Pansies are annuals that look so pretty in spring and fall. They come in lots of fun colors and bring vibrant color to gardens while the temps are a bit cooler. Did you know that when you plant them in fall they will bounce back and bloom again in spring?

YES!

If you’ve never tried it before, give it a shot and see if it works in your hardiness zone. I am in Zone 6a and they return every spring. It is one of my best tips for saving money in the garden. I very rarely buy pansies in spring anymore.

9 Simple Fall Porch Decor Ideas

Chrysanthemums

I’m not the biggest fan of garden mums, but they do have their place in the fall garden and other living spaces. Don’t get me wrong, they are gorgeous! But they are so short-lived and fussy that I use them for a very limited purpose.

I know they are considered perennial and can return the following year. But I’ve probably had a 50% success rate with that. So to me, it’s not worth wasting my garden space or the energy to dig them in.

That said though, they bring the fall feels to any garden or living space. I LOVE how they looked this year on my front porch.

And I also tucked them in here and there in small doses just to add pops of autumn with my outside fall decor.

9 Simple Fall Front Porch Decor Ideas

In addition to my gardens, I added a few garden mums with some pansies and pumpkins to my outdoor living spaces too.

Outdoor Fall Decorating Ideas

And I even tucked a few on my potting bench.

Why You Need a Potting Bench

My husband built this bench for me for Mother’s Day using wood scraps from the yard. I can’t tell you how much I love this potting bench as well as how much it has helped me this gardening season. If you don’t have one, believe me – you need one!

Best Fall Garden Flowers for Pots

This year, I designed a gorgeous container garden for fall with some of the coolest fall garden flowers. You can check out the fall planter recipe here.

Container Garden for Fall

But here’s a quick list of plants I love to use in container gardens for fall.

  • millet
  • ornamental grass
  • garden mums
  • pansies
  • ornamental kale and cabbage
  • salvia
  • celosia
  • creeping jenny
  • ivy
  • ornamental peppers
  • rudbekia
  • sedums

The Best Fall Garden Flowers

Thanks so much for stopping by the garden today! I hope you got some good planting ideas for your fall garden. Be sure and stop by my good friend Kim’s at Shiplap and Shells who is the next stop on the Fabulous Fall Garden Tour!

The Best Fall Garden Flowers

Wait until you see these gorgeous fall garden tips, tricks, home decor and DIY inspiration!

The Best Fall garden flowers

Click on the names below to check out these amazing garden ideas and inspiration!

The Tattered Pew

My Thrift Store Addiction

Shiplap and Shells

White Arrows Home

Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Down Shiloh Road

J Dub by Design

The Flowering Farmhouse

Cottage on Bunker Hill

Pin and Save It on Pinterest!

If you like this post, please share and pin it on Pinterest. (If you hover over the images, the Pinterest button will be in the upper left corner.) I’ve created the below-custom pins for this post.

The Best Fall Garden Flowers

The Best Fall Garden Flowers

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Thanks for stopping by the blog today! Enjoy your day! xoxo

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Stacy Ling

Stacy Ling is a master gardener who loves home decor and creating beautiful spaces. She provides easy-to-follow, easy-to-do garden, home decor, lifestyle & DIY inspo.

24 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kim | Shiplap and Shells

    October 17, 2020

    Your fall garden is absolutely gorgeous Stacy! Even though we live on opposite ends of the country, we still have a lot of the same flowers in our gardens right now. Thank you for hosting this fabulous fall garden tour my friend!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 17, 2020

      Thank you! I noticed the same thing – isn’t that so cool! I’m so glad we did this tour – fall is such a pretty time of year in the garden!! xoxoxo

  2. Reply

    JENNIFER GULIZIA

    October 17, 2020

    Stacy your garden is so beautiful! I never knew that you could dry dahlias! I’m going to have to try now!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 17, 2020

      Thank you Jennifer! I didn’t know that either but I tested it out last week and they look really pretty!!! I’m so glad you joined us – your gardens are beautiful! xoxoxo

  3. Reply

    Paula@SweetPea

    October 17, 2020

    Your fall garden looks incredible, Stacy! You’ve inspired me to take some pictures of mine before frost arrives which could be any time. I agree with you on the mums. They are hard to transplant. My grandmother grew a huge garden of Dahlias that she used for church and garden club flower arrangements. Seeing your made me immediately think of her. She and granddaddy would lovingly plant them each spring and then each fall dig up the tubers to store. I wish I had some of those tubers.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 17, 2020

      Thank you so much Paula! I love hearing that story and how much they meant to her! I need to dig mine up soon…I’m sure the first frost is imminent! I can’t wait to see your gardens Paula!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xoxo

  4. Reply

    Jennifer

    October 17, 2020

    Your gardens are always so inspiring. I added some more dahlias to my gardens and I can’t wait to see them bloom next year.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 17, 2020

      They are my new thing Jen! I can’t believe it took me so long to plant them! And thank you!!! I love your gardens too Jen! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xoxoxo

  5. Reply

    Jennifer Choate

    October 17, 2020

    Love everything about your Fall garden! Please come do my gardens!!! You’re amazing!! Such fantastic ideas!!!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 17, 2020

      Anytime!!! I would love to hang sometime!!! Thank you so much for joining! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xoxoxox

  6. Reply

    Cecilia

    October 17, 2020

    Stacy, your fall garden is absolutely stunning, and your lovely dahlias make my heart go pitter-patter! Thanks for organizing this fabulous tour! Pinning & sharing on IG! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 17, 2020

      Thank you so much Cecilia! I’m so glad you joined! I loved your blog!!! Have a great weekend! xoxoxo

  7. Reply

    Jennifer

    October 17, 2020

    I’m enjoying your Fall garden so much! I have so much to do in the gardens before it gets cold.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 19, 2020

      Me too! I’m glad we had a little bit of a longer stretch here to get it all done! xoxo

  8. Reply

    Kelly Radcliff

    October 17, 2020

    You have such a beautiful garden! You have inspired me to try dahlias in mine next year! Happy Fall..PINNED!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 19, 2020

      They are so gorgeous Kelly! I’ve really enjoyed growing them this year. I have to make more room for them next year! xoxo

  9. Reply

    Kristin

    October 18, 2020

    I pinned a bunch so I can remember all this inspiration! Loved reading this and knowing exactly what I want to plant!! Awesome post Stacy!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 19, 2020

      You are the best Kristin! Thank you!!! I really appreciate it and you joining the group the hop! xoxo

  10. Reply

    Rachel Harper

    October 18, 2020

    Stacy, love these fall garden tips.

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 19, 2020

      Thanks Rachel! xoxo

  11. Reply

    Amber Ferguson

    October 18, 2020

    Stacy there is so much beauty to take in! Oh how I love your garden, and it looks so pretty for fall!!!
    Autumn joy sedum is one of my favorite plants! I just planted one in that galvanized bucket but I am going to transplant it into the garden before the end of fall.

    Your fall porch is just stunning! Love the urns!!!

    Thank you so much for organizing this fun tour. Happy fall!

    • Reply

      Stacy Ling

      October 19, 2020

      Thanks so much Amber! Isn’t Sedum Autumn Joy the best? So easy to grow and propagate. Thanks for joining the hop! It was so fun! Enjoy your week! xoxoxo

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