By Dianne Venetta for GalTime.com
Our gardens tend to slow down in the fall. Much like the season, they grow quieter and start readying themselves for a winter sleep. It can also be an renewing time to be outdoors, so don't let your late summer doldrums keep you from bumping up the wow in your fall garden! Here are five great ideas on how to amp up your garden style, so you can enjoy your outdoor space all the way up to Jack Frost's first visit!
DO SOME HOUSECLEANING
Let's face it, at the end of any summer, a garden can look pretty ratty and worn out. So before it gets too far into fall, rejuvenate it. Pull weeds and dead annuals, cut back overgrown plants, and if you planted spring blooming annuals that are still hanging on by a thread, cut them back by half. Give them a half dose of liquid fertilizer, and water well until you see new growth. Chances are you will see a new round of flowers for fall! Make sure your porch is swept, the grass is trimmed, and the garden furniture gets a good spraying off.
ADD SOME SPICE
Color spice that is! While spring is about soft pastels, and summer about riotous color, fall is a more mellow time. Warm yellows, oranges and browns dominate. So slip cover some outdoor cushions, add a welcoming fall wreath to the front porch, and paint a few cheap terracotta pots an autumn hue.
CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
While summer may have surrounded the pool or the vegetable garden, fall may have a new perspective. Perhaps your shade garden just glows in the fall with its full leaves and deep green soothing tones. SO move the patio set there! Nothing blooming in the front yard except the plants on the porch? Then make them the star and show them off. Different seasons have a different purpose in the garden, so don't be afraid to change your way of using and viewing it to take advantage of the leaves that slowly drift off that magnificent maple tree, or the texture of those ornamental grasses.
LIVEN UP THE PLACE
Literally. If everything seems dead, it's time to pick up a flat of mums and pansies from the garden center. They are inexpensive and can be plopped into the ground in key spots to bring color and life back to the garden. Replace failing plants within containers to give the planter a fresh, alive look. Using the same one or two plants throughout the garden will also help pull it together for the final part of the growing season.
Lastly, as the evening become cooler, and the warm afternoons beckon, treat the garden as an extension of your home. Place a throw blanket and pillows on a bench for snuggling until after dusk, serve dessert on the deck as the crickets sing, and use candles like crazy to allow you to chat with friends as the stars come out. You've worked all season creating a wonderful garden for your loved ones. Now that the air has cooled, and the time in the garden grows shorter, don't forget to enjoy it!