When summer's over, it's time to stop looking at your yard, right? Absolutely not. Pennsylvania is especially known for its beautiful fall colors, and you can put that to good use in your yard. In fact, you don't even have to rely solely on the trees that change colors so spectacularly. Instead, devise a garden that looks as beautiful in autumn as it does in spring and summer.
The best landscaping plans start with a goal. In this case, you want your yard to be beautiful come fall. You can achieve this in different ways:
• Plants can continue showing textural interest.
• Changing leaves can offer showy spots of color.
• The changing landscape can enhance the beauty of your home.
• Showy fall colors can fill in the blank spots left by warm-weather flowers.
In fact, a well-designed fall garden will probably utilize a mixture of the above goals to create the most attractive tableau.
Choose your Plants
Once you have your goals in mind, consider which plants will best help you achieve them. A combination of plants for both texture and color is a good plan.
One way your garden can continue to show visual interest in cooler months is with texture. Ornamental grasses are ideal because they continue to show their texture even after dying back. The following ornamental grasses are great for fall beauty:
• Indian rice grass
• Fountain grass
• Pheasant's tail grass
• Blue fescue
• Purple fountain grass
Some of the above grasses also add color to your fall landscape.
Not all flowers die back in the fall — many continue to bloom later in the season. Consider the following:
• Toad lily
• Russian sage
It's also possible to design a garden that provides flowers for cutting in the fall. These flowers include dahlia, Chinese lantern, garden mum, and blue mist spirea.
Shrubs and Trees
You can't think of a fall landscape without considering shrubs and trees that show their best colors in the autumn. For shrubs, fragrant sumac, spicebush, spindle tree, and Virginia sweetspire show some of the brightest colors. Mountain laurel and hydrangea continue blooming into the fall, while Himalaya honeysuckle and fuchsia offer blooms that turn into colorful berries.
You only have to look around the countryside for trees that showcase beautiful fall colors. However, some likely options include sugar maple, stewartia, ginkgo, and bald cypress. Approach planting these with care, though, as some grow above 70 feet tall.
The beauty of your landscaping doesn't come from the plants alone. You can create year-round beauty with hardscaping as well. Indeed, a pretty garden path is an ideal way to enjoy your yard no matter the time of year. Choose pavers that complement your house's façade, and have the path installed so it meanders around your yard.
Though not a decorative element, an outdoor firepit will greatly increase your enjoyment of your yard well into the cold months. Again, choose materials that complement your house. You can have the firepit installed in the yard itself or as part of the patio. Make sure you leave ample room for seating around the pit.
Include Landscape Lighting
Days are shorter in the fall, so landscape lighting is important to keep your yard looking attractive. Lighting should be approached in layers. Contractors should utilize a variety of techniques, such as uplighting and moonlighting, to highlight areas of your landscape.
You should also use landscape lighting in conjunction with walkways and stairways for safety purposes. When having a walkway illuminated, though, the lights should be staggered. That way you avoid making your path look like a landing strip.
Once you've chosen the desired elements of your fall landscape, it's time to put it all together for an attractive presentation. Let the outdoor experts at Eshelman Mill Gardens design and implement your beautiful fall garden plan.