A Chill in the Air
Now that the weather has turned, there is a chill in the air and everyone is heading indoors. Personally I am getting reacquainted with my sweaters and trying to remember to put on socks each morning. It’s official, fall is coming.
The joy of spring planting seems like such a distance memory and the idea of planting and enjoying fresh colourful plants and flowers seems… well, over. Not true. So many people are missing out on one of the true joys of the season (besides pumpkin flavoured everything) and that is creating seasonal fall displays. Think about it, even if we are all making a bee-line for the indoors we still have to pass by our porch/front-steps and wouldn’t it be nicer if we created something there that made us pause and smile. If you live in an apartment perhaps you have a balcony that you rarely use in the cold months and wouldn’t you rather look at glorious splash of colour than the misshapen lump of your winterized and covered BBQ or patio set.
Create Beautiful Fall Displays for you front entrance or patio using fall annuals and novelty pumpkins and gourds. Image courtesy of Proven Winners
I’ve run into a few people that think it’s a bit of a luxury but I say bull hooey (pardon my language). Think of it as a flower arrangement that lasts for months. I once was told a story of a man who was poor and destitute, he was given three dollars by a wealthy man and so he spent two dollars for bread and one dollar on a flower. The wealthy man asked him, “why, when you have so little, would you waste your money on a flower?” The poor man replied “the bread is to feed my body and the flower to feed my soul.” So, lets all feed our souls right now, we could use it.
If you aren’t sure where to start then I suggest you search social media for ideas or better yet head down to your nearest GardenWorks, the stores are full of inspiration and information. Find a colour combination that is pleasing for you. You can “go for broke” with oranges, yellow and reds or try something more minimal like whites and even sage green/silver. Also you can go monochromatic or have all the colours. You can keep it simple (and more cost effective) like one small pot of annuals or an ambitious display complete with bales of hay, corn stalks or a homemade scarecrow.
No matter what you choose to do there are a few things that I personally love and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, fall annuals, gourds and pumpkins. I love pumpkins! Don’t love orange? No problem. Pumpkins come in so many colours and textures. White, green, dusty sage, multicoloured, and not to mention a variety of shades of orange. Also so many different shapes, and textures. Stack them up one on top of the other; hollow one out then fill it with soil and use it as a planter; or just mound some colourful gourds in a basket or pot. So many possibilities.
Novelty Pumpkins & Gourds
Fall annuals to look for:
Garden mums –
If you only do one thing is fall, get a garden mum or two. They come in so many colours you can create any look you desire. They make a big impact from both their size and just shear volume of flowers. The best part, they are dead easy to grow and just keep on flowering.
Not just for spring, the cheerful little faces of these flowers come in a variety of colours ranging from purple, yellow, pink and white. They love the cool weather of the fall and if you deadhead them they will just keep on blooming. Also don’t be afraid to cut them back if they get a little leggy (plant term for too tall and floppy), they should respond by another flush of flowers.
Physalis alkegengi –
This plant just screams fall–chic with it’s red/orange papery bobbles that dangle daintily. At first glance they look like little pumpkins or Asian–style paper lanterns (which incidentally give rise to the common name Chinese or Japanese Lantern), which is way better than the other common name, bladder cherry (ikk… no thanks). If you keep them all through the winter then in by the time spring rolls around the orange paper covering is usually gone and what is left is the most delicate lacy “cage” with a single orange berry inside.
I love a good grass and one of my favourites is purple fountain grass, with its’ dark purple/burgundy leaves and tawny coloured fluffy flowers/seed-heads, it is absolutely spectacular. Grasses are an important plant to consider adding to your fall display even though they don’t immediately come to mind when you think about fall annuals. But, they add a bold structural component and depending on the grass an element of movement as they dance in breeze, that never fails to catch the eye. There are many grasses out there to consider, some are even more perennial… but for the fall display I say go for purple fountain grass, which should be considered more of an annual in our climate.
Ornamental kale/cabbage –
Way too pretty to add to a salad (plus trust me, they don’t taste good), they look like giant roses that bloom not only in the fall but all the way through winter. They come in a range of colours from green, purple, pink and white. But also in a range of textures, from smooth to ruffled leaves.
So lets be kind to ourselves in these trying times, work on fostering our mental well being, and find a way to connect with something alive, growing and beautiful. Let’s find a way to feed our souls as we all head inside for the season.
Written By: Ingrid Hoff