Sunflower ‘Velvet Queen’
I know–it hardly seems right to discuss fall planting when summer is just getting underway. Ideally, gardeners should start preparing for fall right around the summer solstice, so in my book we’re right on schedule!
Most everything you plant in the spring you can grow in the fall. These are cool season plants, meaning they will tolerate a light frost, thrive in short daylight hours and perform best with mild temperatures.
Here are some of my favorites to consider: Fibrous Begonia, Calibrachoa, Cock’s Comb, Coleus, Hyacinth Bean Vine, Lantana, Marigold, Morning Glory, Petunias, Snapdragons, Sweet Potato Vine ‘Blackie’ or ‘Margarita’ and Torenia.
FLOWERS FROM SEED
The average date of the first killing frost in your area is the most important thing to know when it comes to fall flower gardening. Your local garden center is a good source of information for this date. To determine when to start planting, find out the number of days to maturity on the back of the seed packets. Next, count back the number of days from the first average frost date. Add a week or so to allow for any unexpected weather.
Gomphrena Salvia Gomphrena ‘All Around Purple’, purple salvia, purple zinnia, peach cockscomb and rosy celosia are great annuals I like to whip together for quick bouquets.
Celosia ‘Century Rose’
Peach Celosia and Celosia ‘Century Rose’ are floral workhorses for me.
Josephs Coat is an amazing foliage plant that gives an extra technicolor punch to bouquets along with Celosia ‘Kurume.’
P. Allen Smith Sunflowers are some of the showiest annuals that I grow since they are up and blooming so quickly. They produce a steady crop of flowers for cutting and bringing indoors to make into cheery bunches. sunflower
Here’s a quick sunflower centerpiece you can make in under 5 minutes. Out in the garden collect some sunflowers, white globe amaranth, white African marigold and dill flowers. You can really even arrange this in your hand while you pick by clustering the marigolds and sunflowers, and then punctuating the bundles with the globe amaranth and the dill flowers. Pop into a small tin bucket or other container and you’re done!
Let’s not overlook ornamental grasses to add another layer of texture to your bouquets. The movement and the sound of these plants in the garden make them such a soothing component in the landscape when the wind blows. Look for varieties such as Pennisetum ‘Tall Tales’ (pictured above) Calamagrostis ‘Karl Forrester’, Dwarf Fountain Grass ‘Little Bunny’, Miscanthus ‘Caberet’, Purple Fountain Grass and Ribbon Grass.
Lastly, be sure to set aside flower bundles of ageratum, amaranth, cockscomb celosia, gomphrena, Indigo Spires salvia, Mexican sage, strawflowers and wheat celosia for drying and making flower arrangements over the winter months.
What are you looking forward to cutting from your garden this fall?