Saturday, August 15, 2009

Plants for the Autumn Balcony and Patio

August can give us the best attributes in many plants as they celebrate their prime but we know deep behind this last celebration of summer lies the inevitable story of passing time. We should however be aware that many plants celebrate their full flush of beauty through Autumn and winter months. Colour and form is not exclusive to Summer months no more than enjoyment of life is the exclusive domain of youth.
As the cooler and shorter days of Autumn draw close, leaf and flower colours begin to fade, the inevitable march towards winter continues. Each year Autumn seems to catch us by surprise as if we wish so hard winter would not come we manage to forget it does sooner rather than later with Autumn acting as it crier. This year is no different but there is perhaps a natural ease in forgetting and just enjoying what we have in the here and now.

There are so many plants available to us these days that only commence their swagger as the Autumn bells begin to toll for their less hardy neighbours. As light begins to fade the days draw shorter and the coolness of the night changes the appearance of the world our options for colour also shorten. However plants such as Libertia ixiodes Goldfinger, Carex trifida Rekohu Sunrise, Fascicularia bicolor the various genera of sedges such as Carex and Uncinia striking plants like Phormium cookianum Black Adder, the brash and bold Fatzia japonica variegata and many other such foliage plants come to their own. Evergreen shrubs and foliage plants give us options to colour our lives during this period. In colder climates that suffer from freezing temperatures some of these plants will require some protection or greenhouse / conservatory protection during the worst of the freeze ups. Its always a good idea to experiment with other more traditional plants such as clipped Buxus, Ilex and Privets mixed in association with these colour wonders.
Before the summer colour totally fades now is a great time to begin to window shop. Take a look at what suggestions are in magazines and the various garden blogs then be ready for the change. When those summer containers have finally sang their last verse you are ready to change the music. See some suggestions on our website and do your own web searches for other ideas.