Fall is here and, at this point in the season, it’s fun to start thinking about the new plants, colors, and textures for your containers so they will offer continued interest through fall, winter, and even into early spring. It’s the perfect time to get new foliage planted in the containers you would like to refresh so there can be nice root growth before frosts come.
Now that you’ve picked out some gorgeous plants to begin your escapade into the Mysterious World of Gardening, the first big question arises: “How do I properly plant these to give them a good, healthy start?” The steps described here focus on planting trees and shrubs, but are essentially the same for anything being planted in the ground, including smaller perennials and annuals.
You can feel fall in the air, but don't worry, our gardens are far from slowing down. In fact, fall is one of the loveliest times in the Pacific Northwest garden, as foliage shows spectacular color, new flowers pop-up, and certain summer plants just keep right on performing until frost. Here are a few of our favorites for the late-summer-to-fall season.
Way up here in the land of tall conifers, dry shade is a common gardening challenge. I’ve had success with the following plants in the shade of conifers, and they also work well in deciduous woodlands or in the dry rain shadow of north-facing buildings and garden walls. As with any new plantings, they will require summer water for several dry seasons until they have established a root system capable of competing with existing tree roots.
We love our lilac shrubs with their exemplary fragrance in May. But almost any lilac that has not been pruned for two years or more is likely to have several trunks, some older than others, and a brood of basal shoots ("suckers") around its base. And as it blooms on branch tips, we might find most flowers up high, out of optimal sniffing range. Pruning to meet these challenges can be a different approach than with many other flowering shrubs.