Autumn Landscaping Borders

Many borders fade as temperatures dip, but one packed with grasses, late flowers, and plants with strong, distinctive skeletons will solve the problem.
Arching Gracillimus

Arching Gracillimus

A border featuring ornamental grasses will keep your garden interesting in fall.

Photo by: DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide , 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

A border featuring ornamental grasses will keep your garden interesting in fall.

When to Start: Autumn
At Its Best: Autumn
Time to Complete: 3 hours to prepare; 3 hours to plant

Materials Needed:

  • organic matter, such as well-rotted manure
  • spade
  • watering can
  • Aster x frikartii
  • Sedum 'Herbstrfuede'
  • Achillea 'Walther Funcke'
  • Miscanthus sinensis
  • feather grass, Stipa tenuissima

Prepare the Site

In autumn, before you plan to start planting, carefully clear the border of all weeds, and then dig it over thoroughly. Incorporate plenty of organic matter as you dig.

Plant Up

In spring, buy plants and plant them in the border. Taller grasses, such as Miscanthus, can go toward the back, with sedums and asters at the front, and loose drifts of Achillea threaded throughout the middle.


Water the plants in thoroughly and apply a mulch of well-rotted organic matter. In spring, the asters and Achillea may require staking. Leave the border to stand as it is over winter, then cut it to the ground in spring.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Mums vs. Asters and How To Use Them in Your Landscape

Don't toss those potted mums and asters after they bloom, plant them in your yard.

Landscaping Grasses

How to make the most of your yard with ornamental landscaping grasses that multi-task and look fabulous.

Growing Sweet Autumn Clematis

Relish this fragrant climber, but keep its aggressive nature in check.

How to Do Hardwood Cuttings

Late fall is the best time to start growing a new hardwood tree.

Vibrant Winter Border

Flowers are few and far between in the winter garden, but devote an area to winter performers, such as bare-stemmed beauties and bright evergreens, and this season can be as colorful as any other.

Vegetables You Can Plant for a Fall Harvest

Savvy gardeners know a thriving fall garden starts in summer. Start planting these cool-weather favorites now.

Create an Easy-Care Garden Border

This bold design brings together rich colors and contrasting flowers and foliage to create an easy-care summer border. Ideal for well-drained soil and a sunny site, these plants rarely need watering once established.

A Landscaper's Natural Garden

Check out these favorite plants found in Doug Davis' semi-woodland garden.

How to Landscape With Ornamental Grasses

Decorate your lawn or garden with ornamental grasses to achieve a free-flowing, modern feel in your outdoor spaces.

Autumn Gardening Planner

Time to spruce up your garden and take care of these fall gardening chores to help make next growing season a bit easier.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.