Summer has ended and fall is in full swing. With winter nipping at the horizon, you may be more inclined to think about holly and pine than tulips and crocus. But right now is the best time to be planning your spring landscape.
By starting your design journey now, you can take advantage of the opportunities that fall offers and set yourself up for a blooming spring in a few months. Here’s why the fall season is ideal for thinking and planning ahead to greener days.
There’s Plenty Of Time To Create The Master Plan
A landscape doesn’t start with the plants and flowers. It starts long before the first hole is dug, with a master plan.
If you were building a house, you wouldn’t do it without an architectural blueprint. Your “outdoor home” requires a blueprint, too – in the form of a master plan.
This important document helps to define the goals of your outdoor living space, whether you enjoy entertaining, cooking, gardening, playing a sport, engaging in a hobby, or relaxing beside a pond or fire pit. Based on your lifestyle preferences, your master plan will define areas to suit your needs, from seating to hardscapes and more.
The plan will also take into account the characteristics of your space. Do you get a lot of sun or is it mostly in shade? Are there very wet areas? Do you have poor soil, sand, clay, or something else? What kind of irrigation or erosion issues might you face?
All of these questions – and lots more! – will be answered in your plan, including where elements (like the pond, fountain, patio, garden or kitchen) will be placed and what kind of plantings will surround them.
Not only that, but your master plan can help you plan forward, giving you time to phase in a larger project as conditions and budget allow.
As you can imagine, all this planning doesn’t happen in a day. It requires a little bit of imagination, a lot of conversation, and some practical analysis to design a space that will work for you and your family for seasons and years to come. So if you want a great landscape next spring, you don’t want to wait until spring to start thinking about it!
Start now and give yourself plenty of time to thoroughly plan your best outdoor living space without the added pressure of an imminent deadline.
It’s Planting Season For Bulbs And Other Blooms
Some blooms need to be planted in the fall if you want to enjoy them come spring. All spring blooming bulbs need to be planted in the fall since they need a period of cold before they can bloom. These include tulips, hyacinth, daffodils and allium.
Other plants, like pansies and violas, fare better when planted in the fall because the soil is still warm and they can more easily establish root systems to survive cold weather. Plus, when you plant these in fall, you can enjoy them now, and then again when they bloom in spring.
Fall is also an excellent time to divide perennials like hosta, asters, coneflowers, peonies and yarrow. They will have plenty of time to grow new, healthy root systems before they go dormant for winter. And you’ll be rewarded with a full flower bed next spring.
So while some flowers are best planted in a few months after the first thaw, others require planting now if you want to enjoy their beauty and color next spring.
It’s Easier For New Plants To Survive And Thrive
Even if your chosen plants don’t require rooting during fall, it’s a much easier season for plants of all kinds to get acclimated to their new home. The ground is still warm, but the overall temperature is cooler, which means less stress on plants.
The spring ground tends to either be frozen or fairly soggy, neither of which is conducive to new plant growth. Plus spring can be temperamental, from last-minute ice and snowstorms to hard rains and intense sun. That means a lot more work to get your garden going and protect new plantings.
During spring when plants are ready to bloom, you’re more likely to have unexpected weather to contend with at exactly the time when plants need the most care. But plant in the fall when plants are slowing down for the season, and they’ll recharge for spring, settling into the cooler weather gracefully.
Plants also require far less watering than they would under the hot temperatures of summer, reducing the amount of care and maintenance you need to provide. There are fewer pests during fall, which means plants can remain healthier. And even weeds are less active during fall, which means less competition for water and resources – and less maintenance for you.
Your Landscape Will Be Ready To Grow!
You’ve planned, you’ve planted, and you’re ready to reap the rewards. If you start now during fall, you’ll be set for a blooming spring. Root plants early and by the time the ice melts again, your gardens will literally spring to life, from the early bulbs to the late bloomers and everything in between.
Gardens will look more full and lush than if you’d just planted, and everything from trees to shrubs and flowers will be well on their way to an established and healthy root system. With the months between fall and spring to acclimate and store up nutrients, plants will be able to devote all their energy to growing, and be ready to bloom, bloom, bloom!
As an added bonus, going through a landscape redesign now means that you can enjoy your outdoor space through fall and winter, too. Instead of looking out over a barren view, you can enjoy the beginnings of a brand new experience.
If you’d like to talk about the potential of your spring landscape, contact us for a consultation. We’ll start a conversation about what you want for your space, make recommendations, and plan a landscape design that you can look forward to for next spring and every season to come.