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The Prettiest Fall Garden Ideas

It’s been a while since we did a garden tour and I’ve got some fun fall garden ideas to share. Plus, you’ll learn about some plants you should include in your landscape this fall. Wait until you see how beautiful my new gardens looked this fall!

The plants, the flowers, the foliage, and my new cottage gardens were spectacular after a long hot, dry summer.

It’s been almost a full year since we moved into our new home with the most amazing gardens.

My gardens were pretty incredible where I used to live for the amount of property we had, but here? It’s truly beautiful.

With many outdoor living spaces and garden rooms, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy.

And now that the weather has finally cooled down, we’ve been able to take them all in with evening wine tours around the property.

Although fall gardening season is wrapping up, there are deals to be had at the nursery. They are trying to sell their stock before winter, so grab the savings while you can!

Plus, it’s a great time to plant now because it’s easier for plants to establish from fall through spring before summer hits than planting in spring and babying them through long hot summers.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time dividing perennials, moving plants around, and planting bulbs for an unforgettable spring garden.

Wait until you see these beautiful fall garden ideas that are sure to inspire.

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The Prettiest Fall Garden Ideas

As we walk around the property, envision holding a cup of coffee or glass of wine to get the full effect.

To walk around, sit, and enjoy each garden room, is the best way to experience each space because there is so much to take in.

While we walk the garden tour, I’ll highlight some plantings that are particularly striking.

Keep in mind, some things I did not plant here so I don’t know the specific varieties. At some point, I’ll try to figure them out, but this year, I tasked myself with learning what each plant was.

Front entry stone pillars by the driveway entrance with oversized pumpkins

Some shrubs and perennials I had never grown before, so there was a lot here that is new to me.

And if you missed any of the prior season’s tours, you can check them out here.

If you want to see the week-to-week changes, I share a lot of garden photos in my weekly updates that you can view here. Subscribe here so you don’t miss out on the gardening inspo!

As we walk around, I’m going to share more photos and do a little less chatting so you can just enjoy the views!

But if at the end of this post you want to know something or have a question, please add it to the comments below and I’ll get back to you.

Oh and in case you want to peek inside my home at my fall decor, you can see my vintage farmhouse decor ideas and how different my house looks after moving in here.

Front yard gardens in fall by the porch with rudbeckia and sedum autumn joy

Front Porch Garden Ideas in Fall

I’m not sure that I’ve ever really mentioned it, but we have two porches in the front of our home.

One is a gorgeous covered porch where we can sit and enjoy the front yard gardens.

And the other is a second entrance that we use all the time. This entrance leads to our family room.

other front porch in fall with two wreaths for the front door, pumpkins and pansies and garden mums
pansies and pumpkins with garden mums on the porch

Can we all just take a step back and enjoy the rudbeckia? I think it might be ‘goldsturm’ but I didn’t plant it so I’m not sure.

It looks a little messy now, but it has been blooming since midsummer and is only now just wrapping it up with their blooms.

In hindsight, I wish I staked them up because they fell over and covered the walkways. But honestly, they are planted too close to the walkway.

Rudbeckia is a taller perennial and should be planted further back in the beds as opposed to the front of walkway border.

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

Ajuga is planted in this garden as a groundcover and that is behind the rudbeckia. So at some point, I’ll need to fix this garden.

But not this year.

Even as they toppled over, this garden was a real stunner all season long. So although I wished I did some staking, I’m not that upset about it.

We don’t really use the covered front porch to enter the house anyway so to me, it’s all for show anyway.

close up of front porch with rudbeckia, zinnias, cornstalks and good directions birdhouse with copper roof

To make it feel a little more fall festive, I tucked in sugar pumpkins on the stone walls and green garden fences as well as some cornstalks to the porch columns.

Don’t they add just the right touch?

I started pumpkins from seed this year but got them in the ground a little too late to get enough for fall decorating, so next year I will up my pumpkin planting game.

So I wound up buying the sugar pumpkins from the nursery and could save a lot of money just growing them myself!

fall garden flowers like chrysanthemums, pansies, sedum autumn joy and rudbeckia in the front porch garden
close up of purple pansies in the front porch cottage garden in fall

I also planted chrysanthemums and pansies that create an autumn aesthetic you can’t beat.

As an aside, I wait to plant garden mums until the temperatures cool down so they last a little longer. And I ALWAYS plant pansies in the fall because, although they are annuals, they will bounce back in the spring.

The biggest thrill was the small cottage garden I planted here in spring.

It looks so pretty all season long. I planted my snapdragon seed starts and larkspur here together with some perennials.

But the best surprise was all of the celosia that popped up. I’m so glad I didn’t weed any of it out and allowed it to do its thing.

sunset in the cottage garden with sedum autumn joy, rudbeckia, and celosia

From yellows to peachy orange, pinks and reds, the celosia was gorgeous in the fall garden. It is an annual so when you see it in spring plant it and think ahead to fall.

How did it grow here if I didn’t plant it?

The prior homeowners had a flower garden here and grew it so it reseeded itself and returned.

Again, worth planting in spring because you can get 3+ seasons out of it. And if you want to try different varieties I’d start them indoors before the last frost date.

As an aside look at that view overlooking the valley with the foliage! Isn’t that view just breathtaking?? I was in awe all season long with this view and it might be my favorite spot on the whole property.

good directions birdhouse in my cottage garden by the front porch in fall with rudbeckia, celosia and snapdragons and pansies overlooking the valley
fall garden ideas with sedum autumn joy, sugar pumpkins and rudbeckia, possibly goldsturm
Sunset in the front porch cottage garden in fall with rudbeckia, sedum autumn joy and snapdragons overlooking the valley

Fall Garden Ideas Along the Driveway

As you know, the front yard gardens put on a surprisingly spectacular display all season long.

It started with thousands of daffodils, then progressed to a seasonal display of perennials and flowering shrubs.

The gardens were beyond gorgeous all season long so it’s not surprising they looked equally beautiful in fall.

gardens along the front yard driveway at sunset with changing foliage and chrysanthemums
sunset in the front driveway gardens with garden mums and changing fall foliage

To ramp up the fall garden color, I tucked in more garden mums and pansies. But honestly, the show is in the foliage!

From the viburnums to the white oak trees and the changing foliage on the hardy hibiscus, fall has been a kaleidoscope of color!

chrysanthemums planted along the driveway in fall - garden ideas
view of the front yard driveway gardens

Potager Garden

I didn’t do a whole lot in the potager garden this fall but it sure looked pretty among the changing foliage.

After cleaning out the raised garden beds, I divided sedum autumn joy and planted it on both sides of the steps heading down to the patio.

And added the sugar pumpkins on the top of the green fence to make that garden pop.

When you pull up the driveway, it looks really pretty to see the foliage, pumpkins and fall garden flowers.

fall foliage in the potager garden with green fence and raised garden beds
sedum autumn joy close up in fall

Front Yard Pond Garden Tour

The front yard pond garden got a HUGE makeover with plant divisions this fall.

That was the first area of attack. I dug up and divided several hosta varieties, hakenelochoa, lenten rose, astilbes, ferns and brunnera.

It doesn’t look like much now but wait until next spring!

As the season progressed this year, we noticed the bridge needs some work where the paint is chipping off so we’ll need to make this a priority next year.

The fountain is off and the pond is netted now so it has a much different vibe now. With the leaves coming down, they are sitting on the netting so it’s hard to see our fish.

Our pond specialists will be coming in a week or so to help winterize the pond and clean off all of the leaf debris.

Because the former homeowners lost all of their koi in this pond a few years ago to a mink, we are planning to add a black dye to help protect them when food is scarce.

The dye will fade out in spring so hopefully, all of our fish will still be there it arrives!

front pond in flal with bridge on park like property in zone 6a new jersey the garden state

Formal Garden Tour

After a long hot, dry, and buggy summer, we’ve been spending more time in the formal garden lately enjoying the beautiful sunsets.

With the leaves coming down we have a much better view of them and it’s been stunning.

We walk the dogs late in the day and stop to take in the sights.

And it’s one of the final stops on our wine tours. I love sitting in the gazebo. One night, I’d love to get my bistro set out here and enjoy a lite bite with some wine.

View of the formal garden in fall
formal garden in late october with fall foliage, garden statues and gazebo
garden statue in the formal garden in fall
Garden statue in the formal garden in fall
view of the formal garden from behind with a dogwood who's foliage is changing
Sunset in the backyard garden with green garden fence that overlooks formal garden in fall

Zen Garden and Backyard Tour

While I’m still upset about the loss of our weeping eastern larch tree, the backyard gardens were THE MOST BEAUTIFUL sight of the gardens as the foliage changed.

I mean, WOW!

The woods behind our home changed all different colors, but really, that was just the backdrop to the rest of the show!

Backyard zen gardens in fall with changing foliage at sunset with tree sculpture shaped like koi fish
close up of changing foliage on japanese maple in wooded backyard with green garden fence

Between the japanese maples, birch, and perennials that were dying back, there was no shortage of fall color and the views were spectacular.

While I love flowers, don’t skip on foliage when planting your gardens.

Do some research, read the tags, and plant shrubs and trees that provide pretty fall foliage. Because those plants will keep the color going well after the flowers fade.

backyard garden with bench carved from tree with japanese maple turning color and chrysanthemums
lacey foliage on a japanese maple with changing colors in fall
japanese maple foliage thats changing color in fall garden

I decorated my backyard gardens for fall with more sugar pumpkins on the stone wall and tucked in purple chrysanthemums.

And as an aside, I’m so glad I chose purple garden mums back here because it complimented the red and orange foliage beautifully.

I’m a little surpised no critters ate the pumpkins. Not even my dogs!

close up of pumpkins with stattle stone on stone wall with fall foliage in gardening zone 6a backyard garden
the small pond in the zen garden with pumpkins, koi fish and staddle stone

Much like the front pond, we netted the back pond to help keep the leaves out of the filter.

Speaking of the back pond, the koi fish are still doing well although they are clearly slowing down as the temperature is cooling down. We don’t see them as much when it is cool, but they are still doing well.

I hope they survive the winter. This is our first year owning ponds with fish so fingers crossed they do well. We love these little guys!

backyard porch and gardens in fall at sunset

Oh and I started some new gardens back here too by dividing several shade-loving perennials.

Not sure how well they will take because the soil is pretty dry. I’ve been trying to water it, but don’t want to baby it too much, so we’ll see what happens.

I planted mostly hostas, hellebores, brunnera and astilbes here. But I also divided ligularia from the front yard too.

close up of koi tree sculpture with changing foliage in backyard

New Cottage Garden

The new cottage garden is still a work in progress. I moved some plants around, dug and divided the rudbeckia and baptisia from the front porch gardens for this bed.

I also wrapped up the back portion of the garden that receives more shade with hostas and astilbes from the pool garden.

To give this garden the fall feels, I tucked in purple garden mums along the front of the bed. Looks like one of them was mismarked as it looks a little more pink than red but I’m ok with it.

I love pinks and purples in this garden, so moving forward, those colors will be more the primary focus in the bed.

cottage garden flowers in fall with changing fall foliage
close up of cleome in the cottage garden in fall

Watch the Video!

Want to see the gardens in real-time?

Come stroll the beds with me and see how incredible the foliage and flowers look this fall.

Watch my October fall garden tour video here.

YouTube video

Looking for Ways to Grow a Healthy Garden?

If you want to grow a garden that is beautiful, healthy, and full of plants and flowers, it starts with good healthy soil.

In addition to managing weeds, it is so important to improve your garden soil both when you start a new garden, as well as over time.

One of the best ways to improve your soil is to make compost. It’s very easy to do and I’ve got a great recipe for it.

Plus, it’s much less expensive to make your own than to purchase from the garden nursery.

In addition to making your own compost, gather all those leaves in fall and early spring to make leaf mold to improve the health of your garden soil too.

Looking for More Flower Garden Ideas?

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

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The prettiest fall garden ideas with view of small cottage garden with breathtaking views of the valley

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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10 Comments

    1. Thank you Molly! It really was an incredible season! I can’t wait to see it all come back next year after some of the changes I made!

  1. Unbelievable!! It just looks so pretty in every season. The statues look stunning with foliage in the background.
    I’m a tad jealous that everything is black and dead up here.

    1. I can’t believe how good the gardens look still! I actually just removed all of the snapdragons and celosia in the front porch garden so I could plant my bulbs. I was waiting for the first frost to take them out but it hasn’t happened yet!

  2. I can’t tell you how much I love your gorgeous new garden, Stacy. Thank you for sharing them with us.