Fall Landscape Design Ideas

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Fall décor is more than pumpkins

You may think the Spring and Summer are the seasons for creating the ultimate design and coordination of color in your garden and backyard living space, but this is not true. The Fall season is a wonderful time to create a picturesque setting of shrubs and trees which every Fall will be cloaked in Mother Nature’s many hues: crimson, gold and burnt orange to name a few. The finest paintbrushes and most-extraordinary pigments could never hope to duplicate those exquisite colors that nature has created for us. Most gardeners, or people in general, look at Fall as a time of harvest and putting the garden to bed. It is a sad ritual for someone who has tended their perennials, rose bushes and annuals with the utmost of care by deadheading and fertilizing regularly and watering sometimes daily throughout the growing season. If you’re lucky, in a cold-weather state such as New Jersey, the TLC you’ve rendered to your prized flowers and bushes might have them still blooming profusely throughout the Fall. If you want a yard that is ablaze in color throughout the Fall season, why not seek the advice of a contractor whose expertise is in landscape design in Monmouth County? He or she will enable you to choose the best combination of trees, bushes, shrubs, vines and groundcover to create the best of Fall’s bounty of beautiful colors and astounding foliage, right in your own backyard.

Plant trees and shrubs

Why not use the cooler temps of the Autumn season to plant trees, bushes and shrubs which will benefit from the cooler weather and have plenty of time to “settle in” before the snow arrives? In selecting new trees, bushes and shrubs, try to plan for those whose leaves will turn bright colors when the cooler weather sets in giving your yard a natural panorama of brilliant Fall colors.
One of the best trees to plant is a Red Maple as its leaves will turn several shades of red and be a beautiful sight over the course of several weeks before the leaves finally drop to the ground. Likewise, the Dwarf Japanese Weeping Maple tree’s leaves will go from burgundy to crimson until their leaves drop.

There are many shrubs and bushes, and even vines, which will provide color to your yard either by brightly hued leaves or colorful berries. For example, a hardy low bush with small berries is the Cranberry Cotoneaster which features cherry-red berries and leaves which turn from green to a pretty purple and red color. Combining low bushes with bright-colored berries with vertical evergreens or ornamental trees provides a look that is pleasing to the eye in all seasons, not just to be enjoyed during the glorious colors of Fall. Another perfect example on how to bring a burst of crimson color to your yard in the Fall would be the addition of a Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus), which leaves slowly turn from green to crimson red after the cooler weather arrives. Evergreens, both the spreading horizontal type or the taller varieties, are a perfect complement of color for your yard, and, as their name suggests, the various shades of green may be chosen to add interest to your garden beds and/or yards during this ever-changing Fall season. The beauty of evergreens is that they, unlike deciduous trees, have no leaves to drop and thus maintain the same perfect look all year round. They require one pruning of new growth in the Spring in cold-weather climes, and they look good the balance of the year with no maintenance. Tall evergreens are ideal when planted around the perimeter of your property to give you privacy in your yard and they act as a windbreaker during the late Fall and Winter season. They will add color, provide a backdrop and mesh nicely with trees, shrubs and flowers once the latter start turning the usual brilliant Fall hues, providing variety and intrigue to your landscaping. Lastly, a holly bush is a wonderful addition to your garden, and, with its dark green pointy leaves and beautiful red berries, its beauty will linger long into the Winter when the boughs with their pretty ripened berries may be cut and brought into the house for holiday décor.

The primo plant for gardeners who are serious about creating a landscape with Fall color would have to be American Bittersweet. The berries, which stay green all Summer, bear a yellow husk in early Fall. As Fall progresses, the husk peels back and reveals an orange berry at which time, its leaves have turned a bright golden color.

The best trees, shrubs and vines for Fall color:

  • Maple
  • Sumac
  • Spirea
  • American Bittersweet
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea
  • Red Chokeberry
  • Viking Black Chokeberry

Groundcover for color in the yard

You can reduce weeds, hide bare spots, and at the same time create a living carpet of color when you choose ground cover which blooms or has berries, thus creating quite the Fall color show.

Plant ornamental grasses

Ornamental grasses, especially the taller ones, create gentle, swaying motion in your yard and add interest to your shorter bushes and flowers. A bonus about ornament grasses is that they are showy and easy to grow, and even in their dormant state will still provide a little color and movement to your otherwise bland and blah Winter landscape.

Add structure to your garden

Even a great and beautiful garden can include a few extras to give it oomph. How about an arbor, pergola, gazebo, ornamental fence or a stone structure, like a wall, to add interest to your home and complement your garden style? A stone wall can be rustic looking and thus will give your garden the most natural look. For extra appeal, try to include, if possible, stones that are native to your area.

So try not to bemoan the loss of your colorful perennials and roses as you snip and clip away while preparing to put your garden to bed. These suggestions for brightening up your Fall landscaping will have you grabbing for your sunglasses.