Q: What can I plan to grow this fall and winter?

A: As we are besieged by hot weather, it’s refreshing to be inside planning for cool-weather garden displays.

A long mild season in our region gives us many options for gardening during the fall, winter and spring. One of the best ways to stay involved in gardening right now is to plan your fall and winter garden.

Here are some great choices to mull over as we longingly dream of cooler weather.

Blue is a cool, calming color in the garden, so try “Easy Wave Lavender Sky Blue” or “Dreams Sky Blue” petunias. These pair well with the chilly dusty miller “Silverdust.”

Snapdragons, like the colorful “Speedy Sonnet” varieties, will be early bloomers with bright, showy flowers. Dainty violas are also a great choice with the “Sorbet” series. Look online at photos of the sweet little face on the “Delft Blue,” which pairs wonderfully at the front of the border alongside fragrant alyssum.

In the middle of the border, plant delphiniums and larkspur with lots of tall, blue spikes, or the “Saratoga” series of flowering tobacco.

For colorful foliage, try easy-to-grow from seed, edible plants like mustard “Miz America” or the ever-popular Swiss chard “Celebration.” Enjoy the extra seedlings as micro-greens in a salad.

Planning your fall garden for October and beyond is a great way to keep you excited and looking forward to more active gardening in the cooler months.

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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