As summer turns into fall, that doesn’t mean you need to haul your window box into the shed or garage and forget about until spring. For those that live in the warmer parts of the country, you still have a few months to make your window box a key element of our outdoor decor.
Let the At Home Experts at Shades Shutters Blinds give you some fall window box ideas for this coming season.
First, think from the inside out.
As the year winds down, so will the time you will be spending outside. “Take a look at your garden from the inside. What do you want to see out your windows in fall?” says Leslie Land, author of The New York Times 1,000 Gardening Questions & Answers and leslieland.com blogger. That outlook will help you create a fall landscape that is appealing from both the driveway and the kitchen window.
For many, fall invokes memories of horseback riding, hayrides and falling leaves. Remember that window box you made? (We went through these steps in this post) Consider using aging techniques to add a weathered paint look to your window box. It will go swimmingly with the autumn-inspired plants you add to your window box!
Consider Plants Without Blooms
Although many plants do bloom either late in the summer or in the fall, Land says, nonflowering plants really come into their own later in the year, too; ornamental grasses are a notable example. They are definitely a good fit for a fall garden. “It’s good to be reminded how many ways there are to have beautiful colors with plants that don’t have flowers,” she says.
Watch Out for Bulbs
While you’re replanting fall flowers in your window box, look out for the bulbs you planted in the springtime! You can cut down the stems from the bulb, but try to avoid piercing the bulb with a shovel or digging tool.
Explore Out-of-the-Box Fall Plants.
Of course, flowers such as mums and asters are standbys, but unique versions of even these stalwarts will make your garden the belle of the block, Land says. Look for unusual, autumn-hardy varieties to include when planning a fall garden. Land suggests planting a wide band of Korean mums; constantly shear the front 18 inches for a beautiful groundcover in front with flowers in the back.
Add Some Ornamental Accents
Since fall plants can oftentimes be flowerless, you may consider adding some clever and unique garden ornaments to your window box. Items that move in the wind could add an element of movement to your window box and will add a bit more life to your fall fauna collection.
Best Flowers for Fall
Below you will find a few perennial examples of the best flowers for fall. All are fall bloomers and will give your window box the flair you are looking for this season. Keep in mind, as stated earelier, you can always add some annual accents to the mix: ornamental grasses, sage and other flowerless plants can give your window box a full and complete look without being a permanent addition to your fauna.
Perennial, Full Sun, Drought Tolerant, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Asters get their name from the Latin word for “star,” and their flowers are indeed the superstars of the fall garden. Some types of this native plant can reach up to 6 feet with flowers in white and pinks but also, perhaps most strikingly, in rich purples and showy lavenders. Not all asters are fall bloomers. Extend the season by growing some of the summer bloomers, as well. Some are naturally compact; tall types that grow more than 2 feet tall benefit from staking or an early-season pinching or cutting back by about one-third in July or so to keep the plant more compact.
Perennial, Part Sun Part Shade, Drought Tolerant, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
No fall garden should be without toad lilies. These Asian curiosities bloom with orchid-like flowers that demand a close look, when the garden is winding down in fall. They do best in light shade in humus-rich soil that retains moisture, and are suitable for borders or less formal parts of the garden and among shrubs gradually becoming large clumps. Some self-seed but not aggressively.
Perennial, Part Sun Part Shade, Drought Tolerant, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance, Deer Resistant
It’s time to debunk a garden myth: Goldenrod does not aggravate allergies! The pollen is too heavy to fly in the wind and instead sticks to the legs of the insects and butterflies that feed on its nectar. It’s one of the most glorious flowers of late summer and early autumn, with the wild type blanketing ditches and other open, moist sunny places. In your own garden, choose the hybridized types that are shorter, longer-blooming, and don’t spread out of control. Divide or take cuttings of these to increase your supply; seed will not come true.
Perennial, Full Sun, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance
A big, bodacious, beautiful plant, perennial sunflower is imposingly tall and floppy with large (up to 4-inch), bright yellow flowers that form in loose clusters. Most of these natives thrive in full sun and are not fussy about soil. The taller ones may need support. Excellent for cut flowers.
Perennial, Part Sun and Full Sun, Drought Tolerant, Good For Containers, Low Maintenance
This native perennial gets its name from the shape of its unusual flowers, which resemble the heads of snapping turtles. It’s a good choice for heavy, wet soils and spreads to form dense colonies of upright stems bearing pink, rose, or white flowers from late summer into fall. It grows best in some shade, but tolerates full sun with adequate moisture.
With these ideas you should be ready to start planting your fall window box! And remember, for best results: think outside the box, but plant inside of it!