6 Simple + Pretty Garden Projects to Tackle This Fall
Cool temps and gardening: a match made in heaven.
The long-awaited season of pumpkin carving, football watching and marshmallow roasting is finally here. And what better way to enjoy these joy-inducing activities than outside in the cool weather? Give your outdoor space an inviting, fall-worthy facelift with our super easy garden projects you can knock out in a weekend or less.
Fill Window Boxes With Fall Color
Nothing ups the fall curb appeal quite like window boxes filled with lush, colorful blooms. Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines filled this client's planter with soft-hued fall favorites like dusty miller, ornamental kale, cabbage, pansies and English ivy.
Make This: Build and Install a Window Box
Who needs flowers? Look to colorful foliage and perennials to orchestrate a fall-worthy symphony. Coppery-bronze carex and peachy-toned coral bells (Heuchera) complement gold and green variegated sage. ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga adds just-right deep shades to make the whole planting sizzle. Recipe for 24-inch pot (use plants in 4.5-inch pots): one Toffee Twist carex and two each Dolce Peach Melba heuchera, ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga and golden variegated sage (Salvia offcinalis ‘Icterina’).
‘Candy Showers’ Snapdragon
Discover the beauty of trailing snapdragons by filling a hanging basket or urn with difference shades of ‘Candy Showers’ snapdragon. Look for blossoms in white, yellow, purple, orange, rose and red. This basket features (left to right) red, orange and rose. Recipe for a 12-inch hanging basket: one 4-inch pot each of red, rose and orange ‘Candy Showers’ snapdragon.
‘Violet Wing’ Cool Wave Spreading Pansy
Developed to cascade from containers, Cool Wave spreading pansies combine the ground-covering personality of wave petunias with classic pansy flowers. The blooms on ‘Violet Wing’ feature white and purple petals with deep blue whiskers. Petals change colors as they age, with white fading to pale lavender, creating a multicolored container garden. In mild winter regions, Cool Wave pansies flower from fall to spring. Recipe for a 12-inch-wide container: two 4.5-inch pots of Cool Wave Violet Wing pansy.
Cottage Grove Upright
Capture the colors of fall with a blaze of red, orange and bronze by combining Superbells million bells (Calibrachoa) with a tuft of Toffee Twist sedge (Carex flagellifera). All three plants tolerate temps down to 5 degrees F (Zone 7). Expect the million bells to wilt away when a hard frost hits (28 degrees F), unless you cover plants. Recipe for a 20-inch pot (two plants each in 4.5-inch pots): Superbells Dreamsicle, Superbells Red and Toffee Twist sedge.
A Blaze of Gold
Decorate your outdoor living spaces with a collection of plants in a continuum of gold tones. This container combination thrives in cool weather and can easily hold its own through a mild winter. Recipe for a 14-inch pot (one plant each in 4.5-inch pots): ‘Citrona Orange’ wall flower (Erysimum), ‘Easter Bonnet Peach’ sweet alyssum, ‘Sorbet Peach Melba’ viola, ‘Frizzle Sizzle Yellow-Blue Swirl’ pansy and ‘Sirocco’ stipa grass (Anemanthele lessoniana).
Look for beautiful container recipes like Pumpkin Squash at ProvenWinners.com. This pretty duo blends two colors of Superbells brand million bells (Calibrachoa)—the red and orange tones of Dreamsicle and the gold blooms of Saffron. Plants last until a hard frost arrives—or tuck pots onto a covered porch to provide a little frost protection and prolong the show. Recipe for a 12-inch pot (2 plants each in 4.5-inch pots): Superbells Dreamsicle and Superbells Saffron.
‘Diamond Mix’ Dianthus
Color your autumn scenes with a splash of pink by filling containers with a ready-made dianthus mix. This pretty annual thrives in cool fall weather and opens blooms that offer a spicy clove scent. The blend of pinks and white is created at the grower level, which guarantees you get great looking containers. Recipe: Purchase the number of cell packs needed to give your pot a lush, full look. A rough guide is one 4-cell pack per 6-inch pot.
Cool Wave ‘Sunshine ‘N Wine’ Pansy
Sometimes the most successful containers are the simplest, like this solo planting of Cool Wave ‘Sunshine ‘N Wine’ pansy. This is a spreading pansy, with individual plants growing up to 2 feet wide. It’s perfect for tucking into pots or hanging baskets and letting it cascade gracefully over the side. Rich gold and burgundy petals embody classic fall shades. Tuck pots into a cachepot to create a striking fall centerpiece. Recipe: Buy two 4.5-inch pots and slip into a 10-inch-long rectangular planter.
A colorful container sparkles with hues of the season found in perennial coral bells (Heuchera) and annual strawflower (Bracteantha). Strawflower is the most frost-tender of the two, bowing out when temps tumble to 20 degrees F. Coral bells can hold its own through winter in Zones 4 to 9 when planted in the ground. In containers, a hard freeze will take it out. Transfer it to planting beds if you want to grow it as a perennial. Recipe for 12-inch pot (1 plant each in 4.5-inch pots): Dolce Cinnamon Curls Coral Bells and Sundaze Blaze strawflower.
Simply Salad Kale Storm Mixture
Super nutritious and able to withstand snow and cold, kale is a go-to plant for great fall color. The Simply Salad mixture is custom planted by the grower, bringing together a tasty and pretty blend of kales, with leaves in shades of green, purple and blue. Look for it in 4- to 8-inch pots. Recipe: Buy one 4-inch pot and plant it into an 8-inch container.
Ribbons and Pearls
Steal the neighborhood show by filling containers with a texturally rich blend of plants. Perennial ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga (Zones 4-11) and Garden Brocade sedum (Zones 3-10) bring drama with dark leaves. Annual Soprano White osteospermum adds a pop of brightness, and perennial ‘Ogon’ acorus (Zones 5-11) shines in gold. Recipe for a 12-inch pot (using 4.5 inch pots): 1 each ‘Black Scallop’ ajuga, Garnet Brocade sedum and Soprano White osteospermum; 2 pots of ‘Ogon’ acorus.
Halloween Mix XP Panola Pansy
Celebrate autumn by pairing a jack o’lantern and a pot brimming with classic fall colors: orange and black. Growers raise this pansy mix to feature an eye-pleasing blend of orange and black pansies. The Panolas are a miniature type (6-8 inches tall) that’s hardy to Toronto, Canada. Buy one 4-inch pot or one 4-cell pack and plant it into a 6- or 8-inch container.
Stir up some orange shades by filling containers with Superbells calibrachoa. These colorful annuals pack the flower power, opening blooms that resemble miniature petunias. Add tough-as-nails euphorbia, which can hold its own through a few light frosts. This container provides a long season of color in mild winter areas. Recipe for 14-inch pot (two plants each in 4.5-inch pots): Superbells Dreamsicle, Superbells Apricot Punch and Diamond Frost euphorbia.
Design an Eye-Catching Entryway Garden
The easiest way to do this? Line your entryway, front stoop or sidewalk with a colorful collection of gourds, pumpkins and fall container plants. This low-maintenance method takes almost no skill to achieve a designer look. Plus, if any of your plants or pumpkins wilt or rot as the season progresses, simply replace them! Quick Tip: Ornamental gourds do best in cool weather. If temps in your neck of the woods are on the warmer side, opt for faux varieties instead.
Get Inspired: Our Favorite Heirloom Pumpkins for Fall Decorating
Build a Fire Pit for Chilly Evenings
Imagine yourself wrapped in a blanket, roasting marshmallows and enjoying the cozy warmth of your backyard fire pit. Now stop imagining and go make it a reality with this easy DIY.
Make This: Easy DIY Stone Fire Pit
Craft a Stunning Faux Pumpkin Topiary
Made from zero-maintenance materials, this gorgeous nature-inspired topiary is a breeze to make and will stay beautiful all season long.
Make This: DIY Natural Pumpkin Topiary
Plant a Fall Veggie Garden
Tomato season might be over, but broccoli, carrot, beet and kale season is just beginning. Hooray!
Learn How: Guide to Fall Veggie Planting
Give Containers a Rustic-Chic Update
Wrap planters in burlap and tie with twine. Boom. Your porch is ready for fall in less than a minute.