Many perennials have one last glow-up before winter dormancy sets in. This means you can enjoy a surprising number of flowers in warm autumn colours, such as ochre yellow, warm red and deep purple. They are stunning combined with radiant white autumn bloomers, such as black cohosh (Actaea simplex), which appears to glow when dusk sets in.
Herbaceous perennials & late bloomers
With a well-chosen mix of perennials, you can experience the seasons close to home. For a vibrant autumn border, combine herbaceous perennials with late bloomers. You will see summer turning slowly into autumn. Herbaceous perennials are perennials that start blooming in summer and just don’t know when to stop. Some even flower well into November, for example white gaura (Gaura lindheimeri), knotweed (Persicaria) and vervain (Verbena bonariensis). In the course of late summer and autumn, the real autumn bloomers are added, such as michaelmas daisies, great burnet (Sanguisorba) and Japanese anemone (Anemone hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’).
Ornamental grasses & leafy plants
Ornamental grasses are indispensable in autumn borders. Many ornamental grasses look their best in late summer and autumn, when they bloom with lush plumes, whether or not combined with colouring leaves. Fountain grass (Pennisetum), silver grass (Miscanthus) and purple moor grass (Molinia) are real autumn beauties. Don’t forget leafy plants with their gorgeous leaf colours, such as coral bells (Heuchera).
Tips & ideas
- Autumn is the perfect season for planting because the soil is still warm and it rains more often than in spring. This means that plants will take root easily.
- Also plant autumn-flowering perennials in pots to add more colour to your patio or balcony. A combination with ornamental grasses always works well.
- Do not cut perennials back when autumn draws to a close, so you can continue to enjoy their winter silhouettes. Pruning can be done in (early) spring, just before the first green shoots appear.