When old Jack Frost comes calling, most of us have already brought our plants indoors to over- winter. Those who have not, may be covering them with a frost cover. Our once glorious gardens are now looking threadbare. Many of the plants that are left are nothing more than wilted brown masses of goo.
Just because the nights are getting colder doesn’t mean you have to allow your garden to look like this. Yes, it will take work to remove all that dead plant material and replace it with different plants, but just think how great it will be when your garden looks as good as it did earlier in the summer. The best part is you don’t have to cover these plants because a little frost will make them look even better. Even if you plant your garden in containers, these plants will work.
Some of the best plants to use include non- traditional choices such as sedum, ajuga, euphor- bia, ornamental cabbage, Artemisia, holly, cedar, creeping thyme, veronica, ferns, ivy, hellebore and various grasses.
Plant some miniature evergreens for year-round color. Of course, you won’t want to forget typical fall plants such as mums, asters and sedum. When you plant these, be sure to plant them close together. It will help to create the full, luxurious look that you are after. Many people also do not know that plant growth slows or even stops once cold weather sets in.
To make the most of your plantings put the taller plants in the center, especially if you are planting in
a container, and then choose plants that are a size or two shorter to plant around the taller one. Use this method to create a uniform look all the way around.
If you are using flowering plants in your designs,
be sure to deadhead them. The more you cut off the faded blooms, the more profusely the plant will bloom. Remember also that every cut you make will help the plant to bush more.
If you are planting the arrangement in a prepared bed, remember to mulch well once you have had a good freeze. This will help to prevent the plants from thawing as easily. Many times it’s the “freeze- thaw-freeze” cycle that causes a plant to die over the winter.