The autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) can provide a pop of early-fall color to your garden. A perennial, its blooms come in lavender, pink and white, and the plant will reach as tall as 8 to 12 inches.
This fast-growing herbaceous perennial can grow up to 12 inches tall. Twinspur (Diascia) appreciates full sun and well-drained soil, and can handle a light frost. Deadhead to prolong bloom, then cut back once flowering slows to encourage another round of blooms.DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Sea holly (Eryngium x tripartitum) can grow to a height of 32 inches and spread 20 inches. This perennial prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Its cone-like purple bloom heads appear in mid to late summer and attract butterflies. Consider for your rock garden or as a specimen plant.DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
A member of the onion family, allium blooms in late spring to early summer and prefers well-drained soil and full sun. The globe-like, purple flowers attract butterflies and are also great for cutting. Hardiness depends on the species and cultivar.
Add some color to your garden arbors or retaining walls with winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), which blooms in January.
Hummingbird trumpet (Zauschneria garrettii 'Orange Carpet') is a tough low-growing mat perennial that also, as its name suggests, attracts hummingbirds.
The deciduous groundcover plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, offers blue flowers in late summer then russet-red leaves in the fall.
Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) – also known as Japanese shield fern and Japanese wood fern – is favored for its copper-colored foliage that turns deep green when it matures.DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) produces maroon flowers in mid- to late summer that offer a scent of chocolate. This perennial can grow up to 24 inches tall in full sun and moist soil.DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
With their variegated leaves, coleus (Solenostemon) feature many vibrant colors and patterns. Use these primarily shade plants for vivid accents in your summer garden or containers. They can grow up to three feet tall and spread two feet wide, depending on cultivar.DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) features reddish purple stems, bronzy leaves and scarlet flowers. A perennial, it can reach four feet tall and spread up to 36 inches wide. Cardinal flower appreciates full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Consider growing in a container in a wetlands setting, and water this plant often. Cardinal flower blooms beginning in mid summer through the first frost. Move indoors during the winter.