The Garden in Autumn
In the last summer weeks the climate is already changing, at night the air is cooler and the days are visibly shortening. Slowly the flowers in the flower beds and on the terrace are deteriorating, geraniums, petunias, impatiens, they feel the modifications of the climate and begin to suffer, with ever smaller flowerings and poor development. Over the next few weeks the annual plants will begin to dry up, while most of the flowering perennials and shrubs are preparing for winter vegetative rest; we avoid providing excessive fertilizations, to allow the plants to follow their life cycle.
Among the many plants that we can plant on the terrace or in the garden, some, unlike geraniums and surfinie plants, prefer damp and fresh climates, and in these days they prepare the period of greater development and flowering. If we want to plant plants that remain decorative even during the winter, we remind you that we can choose evergreen plants or with decorative berries, which will help us make our garden, or our terrace, joyful, even during cold and dark days.
Among the many plants that bloom in autumn, in order to decorate flowerbeds and terraces in general, we prefer the use of Erica, a small evergreen shrub, which loves not too sunny and cool places, and badly bears the summer climate. These are shrubs that generally do not exceed 25-35 cm in height, therefore very suitable for cultivation even in pots; many are the species that are called heather, some have an erect development, others are prostrate, it is therefore good to verify this characteristic before planting the small plants, to leave the right space between them.
Heather is an acidophilous plant, for a luxuriant growth it is therefore necessary to place the small plants in a specific soil for acidophilic plants; let's prefer locations which are not too sunny and let's remember to water with good regularity, trying to keep the soil cool enough, but not excessively soaked with water. The vegetation of the heather is compact, of green or bluish color, it is almost completely covered with small bell-shaped flowers, in shades of pink, which persist on the plant for weeks. The sfiorite plants are however evergreen and therefore remain decorative throughout the year if cultivated correctly.
Veroniche and hebe
The veronica spicata shrubs or various hebe species are also very common in cultivation. In the first case it is a perennial with spring and autumn flowering, of Mediterranean origin; the hebe instead are small evergreen shrubs, of Australian or New Zealand origin, available for many years also in Europe. They are small compact plants, with green, or gray, or even variegated, evergreen foliage. They produce an abundant spring bloom, which is repeated in late summer. The flowers are small, lilac, blue or pink, gathered in long, erect panicles. The hebe plants remain decorative throughout the year, with dense and compact vegetation. They prefer sunny positions, but not excessively. To get a good development we recommend regular watering, possibly adding a small amount of fertilizer to every watering. We can guarantee constant fertilization also by adding a slow-release granular fertilizer to the growing substrate.
Other plants produce flowers at this time of year, or in the coming weeks; the cineraria (Senecio hybridus) is also widespread, a small compact shrub that is covered with daisy flowers, commercially available in a variety of colors; we suggest cultivating the cineraria in a partially shaded, well-ventilated place, and watering it regularly; once faded we eliminate the flowers by cutting the stems that carry them.Among the small shrubs we also remember the ceratostigma, perennial with creeping and autumnal flowering, in this period of the year it is covered with small flowers of intense blue color, while the foliage tends to become reddish with the lowering of temperatures; easy to cultivate, it can be planted in flower beds or even in pots.Between the end of summer and autumn, osmanthus also flourish, evergreen shrubs with an intensely perfumed bloom; sasanqua camellias are also preparing the buds, which will blossom in the coming weeks.Autumn gardens: leaves and berries
To get a garden or a terrace full of colors we will not necessarily have to look for flowering plants at this time of year; many plants, evergreens and not, with the lowering of the temperature, tend to have an orange or reddish color, definitely very pleasant in the garden. Some species of viburnum and euonymus show spectacular colors in autumn weeks, from the brightest red to golden orange.
Some small shrubs instead cover themselves with very decorative berries, which remain on the plant until the next spring bloom; among the most cultivated we remember the pernettya, an acid-loving evergreen shrub with white, pink or red berries; the most widespread species of pernettya are generally creeping dwarfs, very suitable for flowerbeds or as pot plants. Cultivation is similar to that of heather, with which they are often combined. So sunny or partially shady, soil for acidophilic plants and regular watering, with fresh soil.