Dig It: Autumn Gardening

Gardening is so much more than just a spring fling. Make the most of autumn with these beautifully earthy ideas.

Keeping House

Whether you dream of creating a special oasis in your backyard or just want to add a little seasonal color to your patio or front steps, a little autumn gardening will make any home feel so much more lived-in and loved.

Layer Up

Because the soil is still warm enough for roots to actively grow sans the demands of hot weather, fall is a great time to plant trees and other large shrubs. Mix large shrubs and small trees to create an interesting visual landscape. Match cone shapes with round ones, and layer smaller and larger plants for instant eye-catching interest. Evergreens are a great choice for layering, but they can also provide some year-round privacy for you and your neighbors—you can even put them out front to give your yard a bit more mystery.

Accessorize with Color

Grasses are another dramatic way to add texture to your garden. With a variety of greens and reds, they're also great for incorporating color without the delicate blooms. And because they're a little harder to kill, grasses are perfect for fall and winter temperature conditions. Think ahead. Berry plants are another wonderful source of color and, just like with trees and shrubs, fall is the best time to plant them. By the time spring comes, they're already set to bloom. From the vibrant reds of strawberries and currants to the soothing hue of blueberries, your garden will be bursting with color—and flavor. Want a real conversation starter when you're entertaining out back? Check out some of the stranger shrubs, such as Blue Sausage Fruit or Bleeding Heart Shrubs. Their unique, vibrant blooms will definitely add color and earn some compliments.

Go Container Crazy

If getting down and dirty isn't your idea of autumn gardening, add some fall flair with container arrangements. Just arrange some pansies and mums for a cool pop of autumn color. Spice it up even more with some Japanese Blood Grass and Autumn Ferns mixed together in a rustic tin. With the evergreens, the deep auburns, and the pops of vibrant reds and blues, your new autumn garden will definitely have you craving some warm cider and sweater weather.