By Jeremy Bailey, BrightView Landscape Services
It’s time for fall, y’all!
The pumpkin spice lattes are so close, we can almost taste it. Fall is just around the corner and the only thing we look forward to more than fall flavors are the arrival of beautiful fall colors. Get your property’s containers and hanging baskets in on the fun with bountiful autumnal displays. Here are some ideas to consider:
Make the Transition
You don’t need to start from scratch in your containers and baskets to give your property a refresh. Some plants, such as red fountain grass and sweet potato vine, will transition effortlessly into the cooler months. Mix in classic fall plants, such as mums or ornamental kale or cabbage, and you’ll have a fresh new look with less expense and waste.
Similarly, consider planting cold weather-compatible plants now to get more bang for your buck. Pansies, violas, mums, verbena, and dianthus can all withstand the first fall frosts and chillier temps ahead. With a range of compact and trailing varieties, these flowers are well-suited for container and hanging basket designs. Plus, they come in a wide array of colors — providing maximum flexibility to create a look that best accents your property.
Don’t Forget the Foliage
Flowers are fantastic, but don’t underestimate the power of foliage. In containers and hanging baskets, foliage acts as a visual anchor. Ivy, dusty miller, ornamental kale, or cold-tolerant herbs, such as sage, rosemary, and thyme, can all provide a hit of texture and contrast. As a bonus, many of these plants will last longer into the winter than flowers, giving your displays greater longevity by maintaining a full appearance after blooms have faded. In the case of ornamental kale and cabbage, their color actually intensifies as the weather gets colder.
Go All Out with Color
One of the best parts of creating fall displays is the availability of richly-hued plant material. Your containers and hanging baskets are like jewelry that accent your property — the perfect, low-commitment place to experiment with bold color schemes. While red, yellow, and orange are a classic fall color combination, don’t rule out the jewel tones. Deep emeralds, purples, and silver-hued plants look right at home next to autumn’s burgundy and golden hues, creating an unexpected, yet pleasing look that helps your property stand apart.
Now, back to those pumpkin spice lattes. As soon as they start to appear, it’s time to get your fall containers and baskets in order. Plant as early as September for maximum enjoyment, especially if you plan to do a winter rotation in advance of the holidays.