As soon as August comes to a close, everybody starts buzzing about the latest fall fashion trends. While we also can’t wait for a season full of cozy knits, we gardeners are also gathering inspo for beautiful fall container and planter ideas. Cool weather definitely doesn’t mean the end of the gardening season in Simcoe—it’s more like the home stretch, where you can experiment with different colour schemes and styles until the frost arrives. Here are our favourite fall container and planter ideas for 2019!
The Best Fall Plants for Container Gardening
When the vibrant summer annuals start to recede, these fall-blooming plants take centre stage. The rich colour palettes of these plants add dimension to a landscape of colour-changing foliage.
Chrysanthemums are that quintessential fall flower we never get tired of, and with so many different cultivars and colours available, they’re anything but basic. We particularly love chrysanthemum container arrangements filled with a mix of sunset colours like red, orange, gold, and pink. Pop a few planters along the front steps of your home for an instant glow-up.
Celosia are fun flowers with tons of attitude—their neon, tufted blooms kind of look like those “Troll” dolls everybody had in the ’80s! If you aren’t quite ready to lose your ultra-bright annuals, celosia will definitely satisfy your late-season colour cravings.
Pansies may look delicate, but they’re actually one of the most cold-tolerant flowers around. They can sometimes even make it through an unexpected light snowfall in October or November (because in Simcoe, you never can tell when Old Mr. Winter is going to decide to show up!). We could stare at pallets of pansies for hours, admiring their distinctive patterns and swirls of rainbow colours. This season we’re jiving with the burgundy and golden yellow varieties.
Coral Bells are one of those gorgeous foliage plants where the leaves actually outshine the flowers, with eye-catching shades in all sorts of fabulous colours. While most deciduous plants and trees start to turn gold or orange as their leaves die off, many varieties of coral bells sport these trendy tones all season. Pair up coral bells in a planter with some more showy flowers, and they’ll complement the colour-shifting autumn landscape beautifully.
Cabbages are so strangely beautiful, with their swirling ruffled leaves and cool purple, green and blue tones. They look pretty magnificent in containers on their own, but they also blend in perfectly with a mix of other plants for autumn garden arrangements. It’s a very versatile veggie too, and you can make some pretty satisfying comfort foods with cabbage for those chilly autumn nights. Ever try sweet-and-sour cabbage fried up with bacon? Trust us; it’ll warm you up from the inside!
Purple Fountain Grass is easily one of our favourite autumn ornamental grasses for potted arrangements. Not only is the colour on-trend, but the texture and movement they add to the landscape are so undeniably lovely. We love to watch those feathery tufts dance in the breeze! Since purple fountain grass is so tall and fluffy, it looks best in the middle of a container arrangement, surrounded by shorter mounding plants or trailing spiller plants.
Fall Container Vegetable Garden Ideas
Lots of vegetables are best grown during cooler temperatures, as our hot summers in Simcoe can actually scorch produce or cause plants to bolt prematurely. While many of us may associate vegetable gardening with function more so than style, there are certainly some edible plants that can still bring some visual interest and intrigue to the garden—especially when mixed in with other autumn plants.
Cilantro may not be everyone’s favourite herb (to some it tastes tangy and delicious, while others think it tastes soapy) but it remains a staple ingredient in Mexican dishes. If you’re big on having taco nights at home, growing your own cilantro is a must. For mixed arrangements, cilantro actually makes a fabulous “spiller” plant, trailing down the sides of the planter. Add some cilantro all around the edge of your container arrangement, and you’ll love the way it cascades down the sides.
Beets and Arugula are both cold-hardy vegetables that can grow in containers, but they also taste absolutely amazing together. For an easy salad base that you can pluck straight from the pot, grow beets and arugula in the same container. The sweet beets and spicy arugula are the perfect match for a sprinkling of some fresh chèvre, some chopped pecans, and a light vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Unique Container and Planter Designs
With all of the holidays and festivities coming up, adorable themed decorations start popping up in houses all around Simcoe. It’s all in good fun, so you can get away with being a little bit whimsical with your décor. Check out some of these fun spins on autumn container arrangements or brainstorm some new and exciting ideas to try out!
Ornamental Gourds and Mini Pumpkins are classic table centrepieces this time of year, but why not mix in a few with your container arrangements? If you start to find some of your more heat-loving flowers are receding, but your late-season bloomers are still going strong, you can fill in some of the empty spots or bare patches with some cute little gourds and squashes. Even piling up a few around the base of your potted plants on the patio can pull together a really gorgeous display.
Go Rustic with your planter choices. Give new life to old wooden crates, woven baskets, and metal buckets with a vintage-style patina by filling them up with showstopping flower and foliage displays. Even miniature straw bales can make great planters if you hollow them out!
Dried Hydrangeas are still so stunning and voluminous well after they’ve been cut from the shrub, and they bring a lovely antique-y vibe to potted arrangements. If you’ve got a few dried hydrangea mopheads leftover from your summer garden, pop a few into a planter to add some lovely, muted softness to the colour palette.
Play with Jewel Tones instead of just sticking with the same old reds, oranges, and golds. Deep plums, blue-greens, and silver accented plants will pop against the warm golden scenery. If you’re not confident in your skills at piecing together a unique colour palette, go online and search for a colour palette generator. Pick a main colour or two, and the generator will provide you with a few accent colours that complement your base tones.
Gardening season is far from over, and there are endless ideas and sources of inspiration for beautiful autumn planter arrangements. Plus, as the shifting temperatures begin to fluctuate, the beauty of container gardening is your ability to move them around inside or outside. Visit us at our garden centre in Simcoe, and we’ll help you find some lovely late-season garden plants—and maybe a few cute rustic containers, too!