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How can I grow a fall garden?

What types of plants/flowers can I grow in Western WA in the fall? Now that it's cold everything has died and I miss my pretty flowers! I'm new to gardening but I really want to learn and would love to have "something" growing year round.


  1. You don't have a lot of choices. But look into evergreens like the dwarf junipers, dwarf spruce, dwarf pines, dwarf hollies. Also great plants are the Lenten rose and Christmas rose "helleborus".
  2. What you need to do is look up online or contact your local cooperative extension office. Also online is your local agriculture site. You may have a master gardeners association as well. Look up yahoo groups for your area under gardening and seed swap. there is one called plantswap and grands_garden. You have to read their rules but it's a lot of fun and you can learn a lot. Be prepared to have them on digest because they are very busy groups. Tons of emails. Here on the east coast which gets cool not sure if as cool as Washington but zinnias will go for a long time and Camellias outside. Camellias bloom in winter months. Mine are just now flowering. I also have some bulbs I'm forcing inside...Love color...LOL But check those out...Have fun Teresa in NC
  3. get an areogarden.You can have flowers all year round.You really should not plant now.Anything that goes into the ground needs two weeks of watering before the ground freezes.If you want some evergreens though, you can probably get some great deals at your local nursery, and dig a hole in the ground and put the pot right in (healing in) cover with mulch. you can also plant bulbs for the spring add phosphate , or bone meal to the hole.look up aerogarden online . they cost about $110. you can also get a christmas cactus for inside or amaryllis ,daffodils or hyacinths that you can grow in water.good luck and happy gardening.!!!
  4. You can plant some hardy ornamental grasses, like Fountain grass, Plume grass (Erianthus ravennae), Miscanthus sinensis & many varieties of Dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)... with Sedum in front of it. Even in the winter landscape the grasses look nice. http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/grasses/types.cfm http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Lawns/orna3.htm http://www.bluestem.ca/pennisetum.htm http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiohera/1684472983/ http://robinsnestingplace.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html http://jessicafoxdesign.com/Ornamental%20Grasses.htm http://clark.wsu.edu/volunteer/mg/gm_tips/OrnamentalGrass3.html#images Red Fescue is a Washington native: http://wnps.org/landscaping/herbarium/pages/festuca-rubra.html Native Grasses, Sedges, Rushes:http://wnps.org/landscaping/herbarium/grasslikelist.html Mounds of Festuca Glauca Elijah Blue ornament grass are also nice: http://landscaping.about.com/od/galleryoflandscapephotos/ig/landscaping-pictures/landscaping10.htm Asters, Mums, Pansies & Russian Sage also look nice in the fall garden. http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0geu81oiwBJ1TkAy5BXNyoA?ei=UTF-8&p=Asters&fr2=tab-web&fr=ush-ans http://www.hort.wisc.edu/mastergardener/Features/flowers/perovskia/perovskia.htm http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1169.htm Blue Spirea grows well in Washington & combines nicely with Echinacea purpurea, Rudbeckia, Sedum spectabile, and Teucrium chamaedrys, which bloom in late summer to fall. http://www.wsu.edu/~lohr/wcl/shrubs/caryclan/caryopteris.html Native Helenium autumnale, with red, yellow, & gold colors, is really hardy & beautiful: http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0geu89_iABJw4YAzi9XNyoA?ei=UTF-8&p=Helenium%20autumnale&fr2=tab-web&fr=ush-ans Creeping mahonia has small, bright yellow flowers in spring, followed in early summer by clusters of blue fruit. The leaves remain on the plant throughout the year, developing burgundy overtones in the fall. http://www.wsu.edu/~lohr/wcl/gcovers/mahoniar/mahoniarepens.html Liriope, or "lilyturf" (Liriope spicata), reaches only about 1' in height, & has a spiky flower, ranging in color from white to lavender. In autumn it flowers & then bears a dark berry. I have a variegated variety which is stunning. Ask the garden center for the variety that is hardy for your area. http://www.ag.auburn.edu/hort/landscape/PERENNIAL_Liriope.html http://www.daytonnursery.com/Encyclopedia/Images/Perennials/Liriop12.jpg http://www.daytonnursery.com/Encyclopedia/Perennials/Liriope.htm Ninebark, & several other shrubs, gives you multi-season interest with beautiful fall leaf color, after it has put on its show of flowers during the summer: http://www.paghat.com/ninebark.html Red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea 'Allemans') has an attractive reddish bark that stays attractive in the winter: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/wihort/Phenology/RedOsierDogwood.html Cranberrybush viburnum & Winterberry bushes have beautiful berries in winter. Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) is a shrub grown in zones 2-8 with aromatic waxy, gray fruit (used in scented candles). Barberry bushes with colorful leaves & berries: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fulldeck/514911201/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/angelrays/2084753371/ (Myrica cerifera) Yarrow's ferny-looking leaves look nice even after it has stopped blooming: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingsbraegarden/221151109/ http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0geu6beiwBJH_YA_rpXNyoA?ei=UTF-8&p=Yarrow&fr2=tab-web&fr=ush-ans Here's some native plant lists (trees, shrubs, perennials,etc.) for Western Washington that can guide you on your future plant selections : http://www.plantnative.com/rpl-orwa.htm http://wnps.org/landscaping/herbarium/index.html Native Washington plants that flower in the fall: http://wnps.org/landscaping/herbarium/fallfloweringlist.html Good luck!!! Hope this is helpful.