Now is the perfect time to think about decorating outside your home for fall. If you have children or a fondness for gourds, pumpkins will likely make an appearance. But you’ve got so many more options for a beautiful, welcoming, fall-festive exterior of your home that you can enjoy all season.
Before you make any grand plans for landscaping, keep in mind that there may be restrictions regarding what you can do to your yard if you live on base versus off base. (One of the benefits of buying your home rather than renting is that you get to decide what you do to your home and grounds!) If you’re living on base, make sure to check to see what, if anything, is prohibited before you start digging. In the event you’re not allowed to plant, most of these options below are also container friendly!
Mums. If you’ve left your house at all this past month, you’ve no doubt seen chrysanthemums (mums) everywhere—in the home and garden center, outside of your grocery store, and at local roadside stands. There’s a reason: Mums do well in autumn weather and come in gorgeous shades of oranges and golds that are the perfect color scheme for this time of year. You can, in fact, find them in most of the colors of the rainbow—purple, even. Mums are classified as tender perennials, which means that dependent upon where and when they’re planted, they can return again. While that information is too late for folks currently experiencing a typical fall, it’s good to know when you’re ready to plant next spring or summer. Either way, they’ll still look stunning outside your home now.
Did you know that mums symbolize optimism and joy? How perfect is that for curb appeal?
Pansies. Pansies bloom in cooler weather, which makes them perfect for autumn temperatures most places. How long they will last, like with mums, depends upon location and climate. If you live somewhere with cool summers, short freezes, and moderate temperatures, you can expect to enjoy them for more than one season. For the rest of us, pansies make a beautiful seasonal addition to hanging pots, containers, or garden beds.
Pansies are often found in potpourri because of their fragrance. Want the most fragrant option? Choose yellow or blue pansies.
Black-Eyed Susans. These beautiful flowers will last until temperatures drop well below freezing in late fall. They’re daisy-shaped members of the sunflower family and come in shades of vibrant yellow that add sunshine and light to your yard. Some varieties have flowers as large as nine inches across! Black-eyed Susans self-seed. That means you can count on future flowers even after those you’ve planted have died.
You know how roses abound at the Kentucky Derby? Black-eyed Susans are the official flower of the Preakness!
Asters. You can find asters in colors from white to pastels, to deep purples and scarlets. Varieties range in size from eight inches to eight feet, and they’re at home anywhere in your yard with full to partial sun. While autumn isn’t the ideal planting time for these flowers, they thrive in this weather if you can find them already in bloom.
Asters provide late-season nectar to pollinators. That means your gorgeous yard is good for the bees (and is likely host to butterflies, too).
Flowering Kale and Cabbage. Want to make a statement? Try adding flowering kale and cabbage to your yard. (The ones with frilly leaves are kale and the ones with smooth leaves are cabbage.) Color your landscape with blues, purples, greens, and whites. You can purchase mature plants this time of year and create an instant border. They do well in containers, too.
Can you eat them? Yes. Are they bred to taste good? Not so much.
Ornamental Grasses. Ornamental grasses can fill out your landscape and bring variety and movement to your yard. You can find decorative grasses in a wide assortment of heights and hues. Fountain Grass is very reliable to grow and maintain, and it keeps its color all season. Red Switch Grass is a shorter height and will fill your yard with bright red color. Blue Oat Grass can remain evergreen through winter. Google “decorative or ornamental grasses” to find out what grows near you.
While you shouldn’t plan to eat your ornamental grass, grasses in general make up the world’s most significant food source!
Bonus Tip: Add mulch around trees and shrubs for extra impact. You can even buy colored mulch to match or complement your home. A quick trip to your home and garden center and a little time with a rake and you’ve added an eye-catching detail!
You don’t have to be resigned to the idea that with the end of summer you are stuck with a drab yard until warmer weather arrives again. Instead, have fun with a plethora of choices of flowers, cabbages, and grasses to enhance your landscape and curb appeal!