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With Chelsea Flower Show taking place in September for the first time, rather than its usual slot in spring, there were opportunities to showcase a different variety of plants. Here are some inspiring autumn planting schemes to incorporate into your garden.

Triad of colours

Mix colours together for a bright bed full of vibrancy in autumn with yellow and red hues complemented by light purples.

Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed Susan) ‘Early Bird Gold’ is a fantastic pick with its cheery yellow flowers that contrast with the dark, black centre. Flowering from June to October, they provide colour for a long period of time.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 60cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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Contrast the bright blooms with the pastel shades of Aster x frikartii (michaelmas daisy) ‘Mönch’. They have long lasting flowers that appear from late summer all the way into autumn.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 70cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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Then, bring some fiery colour to the mix with the sunset-like tones of Helenium (sneezeweed) ‘Waltraut’ or the darker and more dramatic colours of ‘Moerheim Beauty’. Bees and butterflies love these plants, making them great for pollinators out in late summer and into autumn. They are also good contenders for cut flowers to bring their beauty indoors.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 1m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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Embellish this scheme with ornamental grasses to bring all of the flowers together without adding another clashing colour. Something like Stipa tenuissima (pony tails) will add wonderful texture with the wispy, pale leaves that sway in the breeze. Bringing movement into the planting scheme, it’s the perfect finishing touch.

  • Semi-evergreen and flowers in summer to autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 60cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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Spectrum of colour

Create a border that fades from one colour to another, filled with autumnal hues of reds, oranges and yellows.

Start off with tall and textured Kniphofia (red-hot poker) that bring beauty with their bold flowers. ‘Orange Vanilla Popsicle’ has flowers that begin deep red, before becoming paler until they fade to nearly white as they mature. The two-tone effect adds depth to the scheme.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 80cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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The vibrant red blooms of Echinacea (coneflower) ‘Tomato Soup’ emerge with an orange flush before turning to a bold red. Growing on top of upright stems, they’re a lovely addition to many garden styles. Remove spent flowers to keep them growing well into autumn.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 80cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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Bring some cheery colour to the mix with the yellow flowers of Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora (montbretia) ‘George Davison’. The sword-like green leaves are joined by arching spikes of yellow blooms in summer. Planting drifts of these is sure to make a big impact.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows up to 90cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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Mix and match colours in your garden this autumn with these plants that made an impact at Chelsea Flower Show. From fiery tones to pale, pastel hues, your garden can be full of life and colour at this time of year. I’d love to hear what plants are in your autumn planting schemes.

Find out more about adding texture to your garden:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

Adding texture
Adding texture
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