Incorporate late-blooming and repeat-blooming perennials, but be sure to plant them much earlier so that they can develop in place and be in full, natural-looking glory by autumn.
- Extend the bloom season. To make sure you score some later bloomers, plan on a second trip to your favorite plant-shopping place in late spring or early summer.
- Leave it to the leaves. Late-blooming flowers are the gems of the fall garden, but—as with any season—you don’t want to depend on them alone for spectacular combinations. Pairing fall flowers with great-looking leaves improves your odds of creating successful combinations. If the weather cooperates, you’ll have both flowers and foliage to enjoy; if not, you’ll have at least the leaves to look at.
- Seedy characters. Gardeners interested in extending their beautiful border displays into autumn have yet another intriguing feature to consider when planning fall combinations: seed heads.