Fall is here, and for most gardeners, that means a major slow-down in garden activity. Still, just because the growing season is winding down, that doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up your gardening gloves just yet. That’s because the autumn is a great time for planning next year’s garden, now while the memories of this year’s successes (and failures) are still fresh in your mind. Here are a few things to consider when mapping out next year’s garden beds:
- What worked and what didn’t: Make notes now about which plants performed well and which plants disappointed. For the latter group, decide if you’re willing to give them another season – either in the same spot or maybe in one more conducive to their specific growing habits – or if you’d rather commit that space to a more promising candidate. After all, you only have so much garden space. Now is the time to make sure every inch counts.
- Light, drainage and other site characteristics: Daylilies are among the most forgiving of flowering plants, and that means they can be ideal for hard-or-plant areas like slopes or dry areas that receive a lot of direct sun (just mulch plentifully, especially for young plants). Other plants may need to be moved to take advantage of your natural light, drainage, soil type of other site considerations. Now is the time to make note of those changes, even though you may need to wait until spring to actually move the plants.
- Flower type (including color, form and size): Daylilies offer an astounding number of bloom sizes, colors and shapes. Browse our catalog to find some new varieties that can add charm, warmth and vibrancy to breathe life into an older bed, either with a few carefully-placed plants or an entire swath of color and texture.
- Foliage: Your plants’ foliage offers lots of opportunity for artistic output in your beds. Consider the texture, color and growth habit and compare and contrast that with the foliage and blooms of neighboring plants as well as the light the area receives to design winning combinations for next season.
- Maintenance: Some people like “fussy” plants that demand a lot of tinkering to keep them at their best; others – not so much. Daylilies are a great option for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance plant that rewards minimal effort with maximum beauty. Even if you like to tinker, daylilies can provide you with the extra time you need to keep fussier plants looking their best.
- New stock or divisions: When planning new beds or adding to existing ones, decide if you want to invest in some new varieties of lilies (or other plants) or divide the plants you already have. Some plants divide well from root divisions (like daylilies – see this blog post) or cuttings; others prefer not to be divided. Do your research beforehand to avoid disappointment. Don’t forget vines and small shrubs for added interest and texture.
- Paths, patios, hardscapes and “non-living” features: One of the best things about gardening is you can always start over. Maybe you discovered one of your garden beds is in the ideal place for a path, fountain or seating area. What to do? Move the bed. And when doing so, decide if you want to reposition the entire bed elsewhere, split it into multiple beds, or maybe recombine the plants with other plants to form completely new beds.
While you’re doing all this planning, try to leave a few open spaces here and there in your garden beds for a few new varieties. After all, when those gardening catalogs start to arrive in the dull, gray, seemingly-endless weeks of winter, it’s going to be hard to resist at least a few new additions to your landscape.