For those of us who call the Pacific Northwest, we are already well aware of the uniqueness of our landscaping opportunities. Naturally rolling hills, vivid colors of every stripe, and some of the world’s most incredible evergreens — it seems like we have it all! But even for us, we often focus on the drizzle of the winter, the showers and blooms of spring, and the fruits of summer while overlooking our lush, beautiful autumns.
At Greenhaven Landscapes, we want all of our friends and neighbors in the greater Portland and Southwest Washington area to enjoy the yards of their dreams, no matter what time of year it might be, so here are some important tips for ensuring that Fall isn’t a season you’ve overlooked.
It’s clean up time!
Now, we’ll be the first to admit that the phrase “clean up” isn’t exactly the most exciting thing you’re going to be focusing on when it comes to fall landscaping, but it’s an absolutely vital part of making your yard beautiful this fall and for ensuring that your yard is prepared for the coming seasons. (Not to mention that this will also make your winter and spring gardening tasks that much easier and more enjoyable.)
Think about it like this: All spring and summer long — if you’re a fan of plants, flowers, and vegetable gardening like we are — you’ve been carefully nurturing plants and trees and shrubbery so they can look and grow their best. For those perennial plants in your care, autumn is a crucial time in their development.
Those plants that are going into dormancy or have finished blooming need to be properly pruned so that once the weather turns warm again, they can return to the spring and summer splendor you love so much. There’s no blanket recommendation for how to properly prune each plant in your garden or yard, so we recommend researching the particular varieties or calling on professional landscapers for our insight and assistance.
And here’s some tough-love advice: Those plants you love but aren’t loving you back? The ones that are brown, failing to thrive, or just taking up space in your garden beds or flower pots or elsewhere? We’re afraid it’s time to get rid of them. They’re taking up time and energy that you can give elsewhere.
Plan — and plant! — for the seasons.
Now, if you’re a forward-thinking garden artist (and we assume that you are), you’ve probably already planted your fall garden back in an earlier season. And if you haven’t, then that’s okay! Fall will return and we’re here to give you advice so you’re better prepared, no matter what time of year it might be.
Some fall plants that thrive in this season are gorgeous flowers like asters, day lilies, certain sage varieties, and lamb’s ear. If you’re someone who loves to garden all year long, then consider planting vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, pumpkins, and many, many more.
One of the things we love about this style of gardening is that with the proper planning and planting, you can have an abundance of beautiful flowers and fresh produce for you and your loved ones virtually all year long. Doesn’t the idea of having a thriving garden no matter the season sound exciting? It certain does to us!
Don’t forget that while you’re preparing for tomorrow’s garden today, that there are plenty of critters who are also focused on getting ready for winter, and may be hunting for bulbs. If moles are a typical problem in your neighborhood, seek out varieties that are less desirable to their taste buds. Daffodils are a good option for this!
Winterize your soil.
Again, this isn’t necessarily the sexiest advice we could be giving, but in order to keep your landscape and garden areas nutrient rich and plant prosperous for the long haul, the winterization of their soil is a must.
So how do you winterize soil? It’s not as hard as you think! We do recommend that you hold off on this task until you’ve completed all pruning and clean up tasks and have clearly identified those areas that will be containing fall and winter plants vs. those that will not (assuming there’s a difference).
Mulch is really the key to properly winterizing your soil. We recommend a thick layer of mulch composed of organic materials like grass clippings, wood chips, or even compost. This will help create a layer of warmth below the mulch, protecting any plants contained underneath for the next season’s growth.
While much of this advice is about clean up and preparation, we don’t want you to ignore having the yard and landscape of your dreams now. Fall in the Pacific Northwest still has plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun in the yard.
Don’t forget to live in the now!
Turn your patio into an area for outdoor activities. Fill it with comfortable, easy to clean outdoor furniture, and consider features like infrared heaters that are energy efficient and unobtrusive. How about a movie night? There are a wide variety of affordable Bluetooth-enabled movie projectors that are compatible with smartphones, tablets, and other devices, making a trip to the movies no further than your own back door.
Looking for some calm? You can never go wrong with a water feature. Ponds, fountains, and our favorites, waterfalls, can bring some natural healing and calm to your landscape in the fall. You’ll have the kind of space that others dream of that you can actually dream in.
Point being, you needn’t look at autumn as a preface to the end of the year, but you can rather look at it as yet another way in which you can create the life you want to live in your very own space.
At Greenhaven Landscapes, we do this each and every day, because our mission is to bring our client’s dreams to life. So, what’s your fall landscape dream? We’d love to make it a reality?
Looking to create the yard of your dreams?