Autumn gardening: cool weather flowers and seasonal plant decor

Autumn gardening: cool weather flowers and seasonal plant decor

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Europe

The end of summer and start to autumn may appear to be the end of gardening season. With less sunlight, freezing temperatures, the last harvest and end of the road for our beloved summer flowers, you may think that it is time to pack it up for the year.

But remember, European countries can have a range of microclimates, meaning different opportunities for keeping the autumnal gardening going. Germany is a great example of this because you will find more extreme temperature changes near the alps compared to the coastal climate along the Baltic Sea, which also differs from wine country in central and western Germany. So, for some of us, milder winters give us more opportunities for autumn and winter plants. Depending on where you live, you could keep some flowers blooming all year!

In addition to changing up your flowers for autumn, there are also a number of tasks you can accomplish to prepare for next season. And if you’re still looking for ways to keep working outside, there are a few different ways of using plants to create unique seasonal decorations.

Here are a few autumnal gardening ideas to get you started:

Garden tasks for fall:

First, there are a few tasks you can complete to prime your outdoor space for the winter and following spring. These include weeding, tidying up and removing plants that are done for the year, transplanting, pruning and dividing perennials.

While you’re at it and digging in the dirt, why not check in on your indoor plants and see if any of them need repotting?

You could also think about preserving what’s left of your garden, such as preserving any fruits or vegetables, harvesting and saving seeds for next year or even drying out flowers for crafts and seasonal decorations.

Cool-weather flowers:

When thinking about growing flowers and maintaining plants in the colder months, it is first important to learn about where you live. What will the weather be like? Temperatures? Sunlight? Understanding your climate will help guide what you choose to plant. A few safe choices for cool weather flowers to plant include:

  • Mums
  • Heather
  • Pansies
  • Asters
  • Checkerberry
  • Coneflowers

In addition to planting flowers to brighten up these darker months, you should also think about planting bulbs of flowers you want to see in the spring.

Bulbs to plant in the autumn to prepare for spring:

  • Alliums
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Crocuses
  • Hyacinths

Lastly, maybe you don’t possess the green thumb you wish you had, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful plant-inspired seasonal decorations. You can create unique and natural looking arrangements for indoor and outdoor settings with a few of these ideas. Think pots, table arrangements and shelves needing some seasonal flair. Don’t forget to add a few (non-plant) fairy lights or tea light lanterns to add some light and sparkle to these darker days.

Other plant-based decorations:

  • Pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Squash
  • Evergreen branches and trees
  • Birch branches
  • Winter berries
  • Holly
  • Pinecones
  • Dried flowers

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