Autumn’s Best Bloomers
As we head towards cooler weather there is still plenty of colour to spot outside, from fiery orange dahlias to tropical begonias, discover what’s in bloom this season
19 April 2018
Autumn is truly a season of colour, and it’s not just crimson leaves that are painting the town red; many flowers are out in full force too creating an array of striking displays to seek out amongst the landscape.
Vibrant asters, showstopping dahlias and delicate begonias are all part of Mother Nature’s paint palette, and all can be grown in your own backyard or spotted at a local park. To help you find autumn’s most colourful flowers we’ve created a handy guide to the best blooms of the season.
Sunny daisies cheer up garden beds throughout much of the year, and though traditional they’re definitely not boring thanks to the huge range of varieties available to grow. Whether you want a blanket of lilac Australian daisies brightening up your garden beds, or the large showy blooms of the African daisy grabbing attention from the front lawn, there’s a daisy for every type of yard.
You can keep up the colour right through autumn and even into winter in some locations with classic Federation daisies, which are renowned for their long flowering period and palette of pretty pastel shades. Ideal for growing in pots or in the garden, these daisies often grow as sprawling shrubs and their rapid growth makes them a perfect plant for empty spaces or new beds.
An oldie but goodie, elegant chrysanthemums provide a splash of colour at this time of year. This aromatic flower has been cultivated in China for over 2,500 years, and has since become popular around the world as a reliable bed and border plant. Beautiful bushy blooms sit atop upright stems with lobed leaves, often growing in shades of warm pink, purple, peach and yellow. A popular Mother’s Day gift (don’t forget - 13th May), the flowers traditionally bloom in autumn when their growth is triggered by shortening days. Well suited to planting in a bright, sunny spot, or in pots, chrysanthemums also make excellent cut flowers for a homemade bouquet.
Also referred to as purple coneflower, this daisy-like perennial has its last hurrah in autumn. Frequently used for its medicinal properties (thought to be a natural cure for the common cold), echinacea is easy to grow and maintain, rewarding gardeners with a mass of vibrant pink petals around a cone-shaped head from late summer, when it attracts all manner of butterflies, bees and other insects. Popular to grow in the herb garden for natural remedies, plant echinacea in a sunny spot in humus-rich soil.
Better known as Michaelmas daisies, asters will bloom in striking shades of blue, pink, purple and white year after year in your perennial bed. Well suited to growing in the cooler parts of Australia, asters thrive in full sun and are relatively easy to grow, though are rarely seen in modern gardens. Hardy, loved by butterflies and vibrant with cheerful hues during autumn, we think they should stage a comeback!
Dahlias will be dazzling us with their extravagant colour palette in autumn when their flamboyant flower heads are out in bloom. Available to buy in a range of shapes, sizes and colours, dahlias will happily grow in the garden or in pots, ideally suited to warm climates. Best positioned in a sunny spot protected from strong winds, in moist, well-drained soil enriched with compost, dahlias’ foliage is perfect for cutting and displaying in a vase or leaving for the bees to enjoy.
A perennial plant renowned for its spectacular flowers and display of colour throughout the year, begonias are well suited to a variety of climates and, even better, they can be grown in full or partial shade! There are more than 1,000 species of begonia to grow, with a diverse range of flower shapes between species, best suited to growing in the tropical and sub-tropical climates of Australia. Striking orange, red, white and pink blooms stand out against lush green foliage in autumn, emitting a sweet scent that only adds to their enchantment.
Demanding attention with their fiery red, yellow and pink blooms, the showy upright plumes of celosia are an eye-catching sight in autumn. There are several unique varieties to grow with different flower styles, from the narrow blooms of spicate to the coral-like appearance of cristata. Easily grown from seed and planted out once the danger of frost has passed, celosia plants thrive in a warm climate, preferring a sunny spot in the garden in well-drained, compost-rich soil.