Add fresh excitement to your autumn displays by including a selection of seasonal stunners to flower beds and patio pots. Several hardy perennials have been patiently growing all year, waiting for their turn to take centre stage. And now their time has come to burst into bloom, filling our gardens with vibrant colour.
Japanese anemones are always a favourite. Tall and bold, their simple flowers in shades from pink to white really celebrate the season.
Commonly called Ice Plants, the thick fleshy foliage of sedum varieties add interest throughout the year, from the moment it develops in spring. Their flowers come in eye-catching colours from pure white to pink and red, proving as attractive to us as they are bees and butterflies.
As well as flowering plants, don’t forget that many perennials form attractive seed heads too, and these can be enjoyed right through autumn and into winter. Favourites include cone flowers (Echinacea and Rudbeckia), globe thistle (Echinops), sea holly (Eryngium), agapanthus, ornamental grasses, and bulbs like the Pineapple Lily (Eucomis).
Favourite late flowering plants
- Asters and Michaelmas Daisies – such as Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ and Aster ‘Little Carlow’.
- Ice Plant (Sedum spectabile and other varieties) – such as Atropurpurium Group, ‘Autumn Joy’ (syn ‘Herbstfreude’), ‘Brilliant’, ‘Purple Emperor’ and ‘Ruby Glow’.
- Japanese Anemones – such as Anemone japonica, ‘Hadspen Abundance’ – single pink, ‘Honorine Jobert’ – single white, ‘Königin Charlotte’ – semi-double rose-pink flowers, ‘Pamina’ – deep pink double flowers and‘September Charm’ – single rose-pink.
- Verbena – such as the Argentinian vervain (Verbena bonariensis) and Hardy Garden Verbena (Verbena rigida).
On trend terrariums and miniature indoor gardens for the autumn
As summer begins to draw to a close, and everyone starts to move back indoors from the garden, now is a great time of year to tempt people to try gardening indoors with eye-catching and on-trend miniature gardens and terrariums. These stunning little gardens which contain and support a miniature ecosystem of plants are not just space saving, but also low maintenance and can provide a real talking point in the home. The current vogue for succulents and airplants fits in very well with indoor gardening, and ensuring your customer has everything they need to create one themselves gives you great scope for increasing each sale. There are also added opportunities to run workshops or masterclasses in creating a terrarium to tempt more customers instore.
Succulents and airplants need very little attention, in fact too much love can mean they are drowned. Always have a few finished terrariums (priced up!) for instant presents and to show your customers what they can do and how to do it. Compost, horticultural grit, some lightweight clay pebbles, empty containers to be planted and miniature gardening accessories like fairy houses all help your customers along the way to visualising them in their own home.
Succulents are easy to look after in store as well so there is little wastage, so keeping these tiny plants in stock may be your biggest challenge!
Plants for terrariums
- Mini ferns
- Carnivorous plants – Venus fly traps, Pitcher plants, Sundew plants
- Dwarf palms
- Airplants – Tillandsia
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Thanks to Adam Pasco and Dougal Philip for the information contained in this article.