Autumn plants

Autumn colour planting inspiration

As we progress towards autumn some gardeners may feel a little down in the dumps, but there is no need! Here is an inspiring list of plants that can brighten up your borders in October and November.

1) Nerine bowdenii – these unique lily-type flowers make an impact when planted in large drifts (5 or 10 at least). It is an herbaceous bulbous perennial, which only grows to about 45 cm. It is well worth the effort with its strap shaped leaves and beautiful pink flowers. They can be found as bulbs in your local garden centre.

2) Rudbeckia hirta ‘Autumn Shades’ – the rich, rustic shades of red, orange and yellow, make these daisy-like flowers particularly eye-catching. They flower from July to October, producing a mass of blooms – perfect for filling gaps in a sunny, well-drained border or containers.

3) Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’ – (commonly known as Autumn Joy) before they flower the succulent, lettuce-green leaves provide interesting foliage to the garden. Then in late summer the salmon-pink flower-heads add dramatic colour, which matures to pinkish-bronze then coppery-red in autumn. This versatile perennial is a valuable late source of nectar for butterflies and bees and the dried flowerheads provide structure and colour in the winter garden.

4) Aster novi-belgii ‘Patricia Ballard’ – (commonly known as Michaelmas daisy) these late summer and autumn flowering plants produce a dazzling display of bright mauve-pink daisies. The flowers are attractive to bees and the resulting seedheads can attract birds, so this is a gem for wildlife-friendly schemes. It will be equally at home in cottage garden borders, or more naturalistic planting schemes where it associates well with ornamental grasses.

You can also make sure to have beautiful autumn colour in your garden by selecting the right trees. Japanese maples and other Acers, Liquidambar styraciflua and Amelanchier lamarckii all brighten up the garden in the autumn.