Autumn Gardening

Easy Ideas for a Colorful Autumn

Autumn can be wonderful in the garden, terrace, and balcony: just choose the resistant and beautiful plants that retain their charm up to the frosts.

From late summer onward, balconies and terraces live a new life. Vases, bowls, and boxes with a choice of beautiful seasonal plants can decorate windows, balconies, and courtyards, filling the gaps left by the summer species that have reached the end of the cycle.

How and when to buy autumn

Autumn plants are purchased from late August onward; you don’t need to have a large budget: you can choose from a range of inexpensive and small-sized species, ideal in crates or large bowls for mixed compositions.

Shrubby or perennial ones will be able to live long, even for years. In spring, the specimens still in good condition and destined to have vigorous growth, for example, small conifers, ivies, and solanums with beautiful orange berries, can be transferred to single pots or other compositions.

Short cycle plants, such as ornamental chilies, heather, asters, ornamental cabbages, chrysanthemums, and the colorful celosia with feathery inflorescences, if the climate does not become too rigid or very rainy they can remain beautiful up to the frosts; in that period they could already be replaced with new spring plants (pansies, primroses, hellebores, bulbous like crocuses, hyacinths, Muscari, and daffodils).

The pansies on sale in the fall are an excellent choice: they survive the winter and it is not difficult to see them in bloom even on the coldest days. Cyclamens are also indispensable, colorful messengers of autumn, to be placed away from the sun and frost. To keep them in bloom it is necessary to fertilize regularly and avoid water stagnation in the saucer. The small-sized varieties are more durable than the large-flowered cyclamen, rather delicate but also decidedly more showy and spectacular.

Berry shrubs and conifers

Do not forget berry shrubs such as pretty, symphorin, hypericum, skimmia, cotoneaster, pyracantha, all splendid in autumn. They should be grown in large pots because they have vigorous growth.

Small conifers are also an excellent choice. These are small, slow-growing seedlings, which remain beautiful throughout the winter and do not fear frost. Some early bulbous plants (crocuses, daffodils, snowdrops, muscari, bland anemones …) can also be placed in pots, bowls, and boxes, which bloom starting from January, as signs of spring and brightening the compositions of conifers and other shrubs.

Expert advice

• To grow plants such as cyclamen, asters, ornamental cabbage and chrysanthemums, a deep bowl with universal potting soil is needed; the fertilizations must happen every 10-12 days with universal fertilizer.

• Heathers need loam for acidophilic plants, also ideal for azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, camellias and all other plants that need an acidic cultivation environment. Even the fertilizer must meet this need: Fertilizer for acidophilic plants has a balanced formula, ideal for a luxuriant growth with bright colors of heather, azaleas, rhododendrons, and hydrangeas.

• For garden shrubs, the ideal choice is universal water-soluble fertilizer. Thanks also to the microelements present, it helps to prevent the most common nutritional deficiencies. It is very soluble and is readily absorbable from the roots. It can be used both for watering the ground, and for spraying the leaves, or for direct distribution to the ground.

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