Autumn doesn’t have to be boring and it’s the perfect time to add a splash of colour to your garden, however large or small. We bring you our list of the best plants to use throughout the milder months that will survive the British weather and will keep your garden looking stunning.
Pansies are one of the most well known garden plants, often seen in hanging baskets and also great value to buy as you often get six in each pack. They are an ideal choice for the Autumn and can often bloom within 3 months if you’re starting off just with the seeds. You’ll also find that pansies can survive light frost and even short periods of snow cover, making them extremely robust. All garden centres stock them so you shouldn’t have any issues getting hold of them and the variety of colours is now enormous, adding vibrant patches to any garden.
Cyclamens have become a favourite amongst both gardeners and florists across the country due to their delicate, beauty petals, often white and pink in colour. Surviving temperatures down as minus 20 degrees Celsius, they’re one of the most hardy species available, making them great for any UK garden. The first bloom can normally be seen in October, producing in large numbers and then staying in bloom for 9 months of the year. They’re an absolute must for year-round colour in your garden and will certainly brighten it up in the Autumn.
Violas can be used in a similar way to the common pansy, with new varieties being developed by breeders worldwide to extend the hardiness and blooms beyond the summer months. They’re extremely tolerant to cold and wet conditions, available in a stunning array of colours and will be a welcome addition to any garden each Autumn. Like pansies, they thrive in sunshine so make sure you keep them out of shaded parts and plant en masse for background colour across your flower beds. As a final tip, ensure you take the heads off each viola plant as soon as they die with a pair of scissors – this will help them to give their best throughout the colder months.
The dianthus is a continuously flowering plant, producing extremely vivid blooms throughout Autumn. As they grow to around 25cm in height they’re great to plant alongside smaller shrubs and pansies, rising up above the smaller pansy to add further colour to your garden beds. As there are numerous types of dianthus, make sure you check with the garden centre that it is the best one for the Autumn so you don’t find it suffers in the wet conditions of our Autumn months. The flowers on the carnation variety of dianthus are actually edible so can also be used within a salad to wow your guests at your next dinner party.
Traditionally known for blooming only in the Spring and Summer months, new breeds of primrose have been developed to add some beautiful colour at the start of Autumn. Like pansies and violas, they make great bedding plants, and can also be used in any hanging baskets or small patio pots. Plant them in bulk for block colours, or sparingly in beds for a touch of vibrancy among the greenery each Autumn. Just make sure you get the hardy ones from your local garden centres that specifically flower early, otherwise you may be waiting until Spring for them to bloom!
Lavender has the added benefit of making your garden smell divine each Autumn, offering subtle fragrant notes as you show off your gardening skills to friends. The small tubular flowers should still be in bloom at the very start of Autumn, but make sure you prune it before the frost kicks in to ensure the lavender survives the harsher temperatures. Even after pruning you’ll still be left with elegant small shrub-like plants, perfect for adding a backdrop for your pansies, primroses and violas to shine against.