Autumnal Colour

The year is flying at an exceptional rate and it is hard to believe that September is just around the corner. This is the time of year where we start to think of slowing down in the garden - not too much though!

The grass will become less like a demanding teenager, and the plants will require less of the speciality watering-can tipple. Therefore, we are able to focus on spending more time deciphering where all the little gaps are, and what to do with that empty and unkempt flower bed at the bottom of the garden.

There are many things I love about summer - the heat, the bold blooms perfectly set in hanging baskets and just the notion of being able to step outdoors without thinking about wearing several hats, coats, scarves and other woolly under and over garments.



However, there is something magical about this time of year as we smoothly make the transition from summer to autumn. I adore it when the leaves on the trees start to change colour to rich, dark and warming shades of orange, yellow, brown and red.

There is nothing quite like it - I would highly recommend that you visit an Arboretum during this time.  It was around October last year that I attended the famous Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucester.

It was a magnificent site to see so many varieties of tree and shrub, each with their own individual and changeable colour combinations.


Autumnal Colour

What can I say about Autumn - there is a subtle chill to the air alongside the stunning soft rays of dawn and dusk sunlight. The days begin to draw in and it becomes more acceptable to hide yourself under a cosy blanket, with a cup of tea whilst watching many a classic movie (maybe that is just me!).

Back in the garden, away from our beloved blanket, it is important that we do not neglect our outdoor spaces as summer fades. This is a prime opportunity in evoke a fresh flush of colour whilst preparing certain beds and borders for the following spring.

Here are a few of my favourite autumn flowering blooms, a perfect mix of colour for this vibrant and beautiful season:


Helenium

These bold, brash bloom will certainly pack a punch in your flower beds and borders, radiating scorching hues to create the perfect mix of autumnal colour.

They also make the most stunning cut flowers in a vase, creating a wonderful centre piece in the home.

Helenium prefer well drained soil in sun or part shade and can spread between 45-60cm (18-24").



Helianthus

An incredibly hardy sunflower that brings an extra dose of sunshine into your summer garden whilst continuing through to early Autumn, whatever the weather! (a very important fact for us here in the UK)

These plants fashion an abundance of large and brightly coloured blooms, up to 15cm in width - the ultimate bee magnet and the perfect addition to a wildflower patch.

Helianthus prefer well drained soil in full sun and will grow to approximately 80cm (32") whilst spreading to 50cm (32")






Kniphofia 

Impressive stately stems topped with a cone-like bloom head will elevate the warm autumnal shades during this changeable season.

Meanwhile the clumps of grassy foliage will create soft and subtle textures against companion plants. Kniphofia prefer poor, dry soil in full sun or part shade whilst growing to an approximate height of 1.2m (4') and a spread of 60cm (24").





A timeless and classic bloom that are both beautiful and incredibly long flowering, which means we can enjoy its presence throughout 6 months of the year!

They are highly attractive to bees, whilst being easy to grow. They are not fussy on soil conditions and will thrive in both sun or part shade. Penstemon will spread to approximately 45-60cm (18-24").





Echinacea 

I really do adore these blooms and am fascinated by the stunning colour they produce throughout late summer and autumn. A highly unique bloom to implement into your beds and borders.

Echinacea are easy to grow and are  not fussy on soil conditions when grown in full sun or part shade. You should expect your plants to grow to an approximate height of 75-90cm (30-36") and a spread of 45-60cm (18-24").




Heuchera

Heuchera are loved for their spectacular foliage, and my word is it stunning - the absolute epitome of autumnal colour. What makes Heuchera even more wonderful, is that it is evergreen and deters slugs and snails from destroying its beautiful foliage.

Heuchera prefer well drained soil in sun or part shade and will grow to an approximate height and spread of 35cm (14").







Salvia

Beautiful open mouthed blooms adorn scented foliage from spring to autumn. A wonderful addition planted near a path or seat where the fragrance will be released when the foliage is disturbed. 
Salvia prefers well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. It will grow to an approximate height & spread 60-90 cm (24-36"). 





Dahlia

Huge, sumptuous blooms appear in summer and autumn on surprisingly strong stems that stand majestically in almost any weather. This makes them excellent for cutting too, lasting up to 10 days in a vase!  

You should expect to see these plants grow to an approximate height 80-90cm (32-36") and spread of 60-75cm (24-30"). 





Have you started to plan your autumn gardens yet? What are your favourite scorchers? I am looking forward to the changing season and thinking about how I can make my garden look unrecognisable from its summer state.

I hope you all have the most amazing Bank Holiday weekend!

(becky@hayloftplants.co.uk)

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