Adding a Pop of Colour to the Fall Garden
As your late summer flowers finish blooming, your garden might need a little pick me-up to carry it into fall. Adding some fresh fall flowering plants such as Fall Mums or Pansies is a sure way to brighten it up.
Fall Mums (Chrysanthemums) come in a variety of exceptional colours, from brilliant yellows, to outstanding oranges, reds, maroons, pinks, and more. They typically bloom from late August until mid October, and the sheer number of blooms per plant will convince you that these plants were meant to put on a show.
For maximum impact consider your colour scheme. If you decorate for Fall, using pumpkins and gourds, pick out orange, bronze, yellow and creamy white mums. If you have a lot of evergreens that provide a backdrop of various shades of green, add a pop of colour such as pink, lavender, pure white or red. With such bold colours, a large grouping of mums will certainly attract the eye.
Mums are frost hardy to minus four degrees Celsius which means they can handle a slight frost and our Prince George cool Fall temperatures. They can be transplanted directly into the garden, or placed in containers. Try putting them in a window box or place them in a mixed planter with ornamental grass, pansies, and a trailer such ivy or creeping jenny. Their compact shape and multitude of blooms makes them a fantastic fall plant for any setting.
Pansies are ideal for brightening up a drab corner in the landscape or adding to a container. They are small in size, making them perfect for rock gardens, borders and edging. These cool weather annuals come in a wide variety of colour combinations either as a solid colour or bi-colour, and many of them have face like markings. They are one of the very first annuals available in the spring and then become available in the early Fall. They don’t like the summer heat and can handle a few degrees of frost making them perfect for our northern climate.
As you are planting your Fall Mums and pansies, take the time to clean up the garden. Remove annuals that have finished blooming, and cut back perennials that have died back. Clean up loose foliage and leaves to keep your garden looking tidy. Plant some fall bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, etc., to provide early spring blooms. A little bit of time spent now will leave you one step ahead next spring.
You can also add to the landscape by planting something more permanent. If you notice a few empty spaces in the landscape its not too late to fill them. Fall is a great time of year to plant trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses. Cooler air temperatures and warm soil are ideal for growing , allowing plants to form a good root system before winter sets in.
While Fall may mean a drop in temperatures, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your garden. A few Fall Mums and pansies can extend the growing season, provide a burst of fall colour and add to the enjoyment of your yard and garden.
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres in Prince George:
- Highway 16 West at Kimball Road
- Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road