Seasonal Design Considerations – Autumn

Watch the leaves changing colour, smell the autumn air and enjoy the late summer and autumn flowers.

As the days start shortening and everything has gone back to normal after the summer holidays,  there is still plenty to see, smell and touch in the garden.   Nature starts to slow down and some people find this time of year a bit depressing,  so making sure that your garden has some late summer /autumn interest can be really important.

Here are a few things you can consider to give you and your garden an autumn boost:


  • Grasses studded with seed-heads of perennials look spectacular in autumn, especially when backlit with low morning or evening sun.
  • Extend the flowering season wth late flowering perennials and shrubs. Choose plants such as asters, sedums and dahlias.   Also ceratostigma plumbaginoides and geraniums such as Rozanne flower well till the first frosts and Agapanthus carry on the interest well into Autumn with spectacular seed heads.   Another absolute showstopper for this time of year is hydragea and there is a wealth of beautiful varieties to choose from.  Many of the flower colours deepen to dusky reds in autumn too which adds to the warmth of the display.   
  • Cut back your perennials before you go on holiday (a ‘Summer Snip’ — rather than the ‘Chelsea Chop’).  This means that whilst you are on holiday your plants will be busy producing an extra crop of flowers for September/October.
  • Think about the autumn leaf colour when you choose trees and shrubs and select some buttery yellows and some fiery reds too, these can be balanced against the late perennials too so you get a good sense of balance and flow with the colours of autumn in your garden.   Euonymus alatus compactus,  Cotinus (all varieties)  and Acers are amongst my favourites. 
  • Berries/ hips    Hips and berries add another pop of autumn colour and have the added advantage of attracting and feeding birds too.  Rugosa roses have great hips as do dog rose (Rosa Canina)  Rosa moyensii ‘Geranium’.  Cotoneaster hybridus Pendulus puts in a good show as does C.lactus.
  • Bark colour is also worth considering if you want to introduce some colours which will last through winter too.  Cornus and Salix, as well as the lovely Prunus serrula all tone in beautifully to complete a warm autumnal design.

If you’d like to see some garden transformations see our facebook page Selina Botham – Designs for all Seasons or follow us on Instagram @designsforallseasons

If you would like to redesign your garden and need some professional help contact Selina on 07894 553 202

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