Another yard feature that should not be forgotten during fall cleaning is window boxes. While Soares suggests getting rid of the plants that have gone by, she does not encourage emptying them entirely. Instead, the seasoned gardener suggests supplementing the good plants that remain with autumn annuals and perennials.
To add even more vibrancy to your fall landscape, Soares Flower Garden Nursery offers workshops to create planters for the yard. Due to past years’ successes, the nursery focuses on hypertufa planters and pumpkins topped with succulents. Soares says that these two decorative items have surpassed the potted mum in popularity, as they offer a fun change from tradition and are proven to last. The fall gourds consist of nothing more than simple construction of moss and succulent cuttings hot glued to the top of pumpkins, yet Soares believes they make a wonderful addition to anyone’s front door entry.
So, this is all to say that gardening does not have to, and should not, end with the summer heat; and potted plants do not have to be the only source of fall color, either. Soares suggests to “Continue deadheading roses to encourage late season blooms,” and notes, “Sedums, ornamental grasses and cabbages can be left and added to. You can add greens in December.”
Leaving ornamental grasses to their own well-being not only allows for a more dynamic lawn, but it is also critical to the grasses’ overall survival. Paul Miskovsky of Miskovksy Landscaping in Falmouth explains that a common mistake in winter preparation is clipping the grasses rather than simply keeping them neat and tidy. “The plants are still growing,” he explains. “If you cut an ornamental grass now, you will see the inside of the stem is still green. It will be brown in the spring.” When winter gets closer, Miskovsky suggests tying the grasses into “living vases.”
Along with grasses, Christopher explains that “Now is a good time to be buying your spring blooming shrubs, as most garden centers are offering great deals. Shrubs such as forsythia, lilacs, azalea, rhododendron, quince, pussy willow, fothergilla, spirea and daphne all produce blooms during the months of April and May. Spring blooming perennials include viola, lungwort, bleeding heart, iris, Virginia bluebells, lady’s mantle, brunnera, candytuft, creeping phlox and columbine.”
Luckily, Hyannis Country Garden just filled their shelves with their fall stock. “We just got in our shipment of bulbs,” says sales associate Lucas Benson. “So, daffodils, crocuses, tulips, allium bulbs, which are ornamental onions, chives—those are all good to plant now. And some will come up really early in the spring, others later, but they offer a pretty good burst of color for that time of year.”
If you choose to plant the larger shrubs at this point in the year, consider specimen planting as way to draw more eyes on your beautiful landscape. “Specimen planting is selecting a plant and highlighting it in a given space,” explains Miskovksy. “This could include placing upright weeping plants in the focal point of the yard, or planting evergreens and deciduous shrubs in a small courtyard between buildings.”
Evergreen trees are just one example of plants that do well year-round on Cape. To continue enjoying a lovely, interesting garden throughout the year, Miskovsky considers juniper, holly and pines as three other great options to choose from.
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