Cool Weather Plants – Planning For Fall

Summer has been mild and wet, so although we are in no hurry for fall and winter just yet, it’s a great time to start prepping for the inevitable cool down, and how to make the most of your gardens right up until the first snowfall.

There are several types of plants that will flower through the fall season, bringing an extra burst of colour to cool and overcast days. Mums are a tried and true favorite, hardy and available in many colours. Considered a tender perennial, these flowers will do better over the winter months if they are planted in gardens in spring or summer, as it allows the plant to establish a better root system. Otherwise, potted mums are typically considered an annual and don’t often last through the winter.

Pansies and coleus are two other options for plants that will last right through until fall. Both plants have beautiful, rich colours, adding a boost to gardens and areas of your yard that may need to be brightened up.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more unusual, consider planting flowering kale. This varietal of kale is still edible, but boasts a much more flamboyant colour and looks absolutely stunning in pots. As an added bonus, the foliage of flowering kale is frost resistant, and the colours only become more intense with colder weather.

Flowering Kale – Photo by Rob D. Brodman

Above all, consider plants that can survive in Ottawa, which is a zone 4 for plant hardiness. The options are endless, and hopefully adding that extra touch of colour to a sometimes drab fall will help ease us into the coming winter.