Fine Gardeners Blog

Fall Container Gardens: Creating Season Containers

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fine Gardeners, Brookline, Newton, Needham, MAContainer gardens offer four seasons of pleasure, fun and creativity. Fall is here and the holidays are fast approaching. Make use of this opportunity to be creative and plan on changing out the plants in your containers. Gorgeous containers bursting with colorful arrangements are a focal point and should always look their best.

The amount of time and money you want to spend on your containers will determine how many times each year you want to change the plantings or add additional plants. It may mean completely changing some pots with each season or just changing a few plants in each pot.

Fall

Fall color schemes revolve around oranges, deep golds and rich reds. Mums are the classic standby, but calendulas, pansies, ornamental kales, diascias, snapdragons and edibles such as beets and Swiss chard make great fall containers.

Winter

In winter, seasonal container gardens can be filled with boughs of evergreens. Some foliage plants, such as springerii, can be left to dry in the containers making a decorative display all winter. Hardy trailing plants including vinca and ivy can remain in the container all winter. Woody plants offer interesting textures in winter and broadleaf evergreens such as holly, daphnes, boxwood, ivy topiaries and small conifers offer interest all winter. Arrangements of red twig dogwood and evergreen branches make a delightful seasonal display in urns near entrances.

Containers with Foliage Plants

Foliage plants and woody plants will work best for containers and planters used as screens and space dividers.

For more information on seasonal containers for your home or business, contact Paul at Fine Gardeners.

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Fall Garden Tips

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Monday, August 28, 2017

Fine Gardeners, Needham, Newton, Brookline, MAAssess Your Garden

A flower garden can tell you a lot at the end of the growing season. You'll want to assess the results of all your spring and summer work, and prepare the garden for next spring. First, take a walk around your garden and look at how all the plants did over the summer. Track successes and failures of individual plants. Identify which plants have outgrown their space and need to be divided.

Add Mulch

Determine which bare areas could use soil amendment and new plants. Add mulch where necessary.

Check for Diseases

Check the overall health of plants — look for diseases and damage.

Replace Old with New

Replace summer annuals in window boxes and garden beds with cool-weather flowers. Dig up any bulb plants that aren't hardy in your zone.

Prepare

You'll want to weed, deadhead faded blooms, divide overgrown plants, dig up non-hardy bulbs for winter storage, remove spent annuals, amend soil and add needed mulch. Replace ties with jute twine. Natural fibers make the best ties because they're more flexible. They'll break down over time, but at that point, it will be time to retie the plants anyway. Amend soil where there are bare spots or where you've removed annuals. Add compost and to replace nutrients lost during summer growth and to better prepare the soils for spring planting. Turn the amendments into the soil with a garden fork to distribute it evenly. Brush off any mulch that's sitting on branches of shrubs because it can cause leaves and needles to yellow.

Rose Care

Fall isn't the ideal time to prune roses. Pruning stimulates new growth that may not be able to survive the winter, especially in colder zones. Don't even cut off any dead wood.

Phlox Care

Cut faded blossoms. If powdery mildew is present, remove most of the stem that has the worst of the problem. Discard any affected debris — do not compost.

Gladiolus Care

It's important to get these out of the ground before the first killing frost; it doesn't harm the plants to do this while their foliage is still green. Dig out the bulbs and gently shake excess dirt from their roots. Cut off the stalks. Allow bulbs to "cure" (dry) for a couple of days. Shake any remaining soil from bulbs. Put bulbs in a cardboard box with some peat moss and store in a cool, dry place for the winter.

Siberian Iris

To divide, dig out the entire clump and then cut it into sections. Replace one section into the original hole and save the remaining sections for other bare areas in the garden.

Remove All Annuals from the Garden

Remove all annuals from the garden. You can save seeds from most annuals and plant them next year. Zinnias are an easy plant to collect seeds from and to grow from seed. For window boxes, simply remove summer annuals, add more potting mix and plant cool-weather bloomers like ornamental kale and pansies.

Ready Your Container Gardens

Believe it or not, the most overlooked group of plants this time of year is fall flower for container gardens, and there are plenty of things to consider with respect to their care.

For more information or for help with you fall gardening or fall container gardens, contact Paul at Fine Gardeners.

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