Photo by Melody

Autumn Garden Wedding (Plantings to add color and texture)

By Jacqueline Cross (libelluleAugust 29, 2011

Creating a beautiful fall garden is as easy as filling decorative containers with fall blooming plants and placing them around the garden.

Gardening picture(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on July 31, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)  

    While standing in the middle of a local plant nursery, it hits you, you know little to nothing about plants.  You have spent months planning the perfect garden wedding.  Your day, the day you've dreamed of since childhood is getting closer, but the garden does not yet have the ‘look' you dreamed it would.

     Everything else is in place.  The one thing left to do is choose plants that will give the best color for your fall wedding.  Which plants?  There are so many to choose from.

     Hopefully, you have planned far enough in advance so that you can plant them in the ground, giving them plenty of time to settle into their new home.  If you do not have time for that or if your ceremony will be held on property that does not belong to you, choose plants that will live in pots.

     The variety of decorative urns, pots, pedestals and hanging baskets are endless.  You are certain to find something that will work with the tone of your wedding.  Using something as simple as a plastic five gallon bucket turned upside down, covered with pretty fabric and wrapped in a ribbon.  Perhaps, use two buckets, a smaller one on top of the five gallon bucket to make it taller and set a potted plant on top.  No one will ever know that your pretty pedestal is a cheap bucket wrapped in beautiful fabric.  Use your imagination.  For inspiration, take a walk around the barn or a junk store in your area.

     Setting potted plants on rocks around the garden will also work.  If there are no rocks in your garden, they are easily created.  Yes, you can build a rock that is perfectly sized for the area you will set it in.  Many knowledgeable people can be found in the Hypertufa and Cement forum at Dave's Garden.

     Below is a sampling of plants that climb, spread, hang and mound.  Plants listed have lovely blooms or foliage color in the fall.  A few plants have both, colorful blooms and interesting foliage.

Japanese Climbing Hydrangea
Schizophragma hydrangeoides
Zone 4-8  Height: 20-30 ft.
Bloom:    White/Near White

Climbing Hydrangea

Variegated Virginia Creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia  
Zones 4-9  Height: 6-8 ft.
Bloom:      Red Foliage


Blue Oat Grass Helictotrichon sempervirens
Zones 4-9
Height: 12-18 in.
Bloom: Blue

Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis x acutiflora
Zones 4-9 Height: 4-6 ft.
Seed heads turn a golden color in the fall.
Grass has a pink hue and is ‘wispy' in appearance. 

Maiden Grass Miscanthus sinensis 'Puenktchen'
Zone 5-9 Height: 4-8 ft
Bloom: Changes from pink to white.


Blue Oat Grass
Photo courtesy of
Garden member,  

Left: Blue Oat Grass
Helictotrichon sempervirens


Right: Maiden Grass
Miscanthus sinensis

Photo courtesy of
Dave'sGarden member, 

Maiden Grass


Autumn Crocus Colchicum speciosum
Zones 4-9
Height: 6-12 in
Bloom: Pale Pink, White/Near White
Black Snakeroot
Cimicifuga ramosa
'Pink Spike'
Zones 4-8
Height:4-8 ft
Bloom: Pale Pink 
False Aster
Boltonia asteroides
Zones 3-9
Height: 36-48 in.
Bloom: White/Near White 
Frickart's Aster
Aster x frikartii
Zones 5-8
Height:24-36 in.
Bloom: Violet/Lavender 
Garden Mum
Chrysanthemum morifolium 'Sunny Reagan'
Zones 4-9
Height: 12-36in.
Bloom: Bright Yellow 
Goldenrod Solidago 'Golden Baby' Solidago
Zones 3-8 Height:12-24in
Bloom: Gold, Yellow-Orange, Bright Yellow 
Helmet Flower
Aconite napellus
Zones 3-7
Height: 24-48 in.
Bloom: Dark Blue, Blue-Violet, Lavender 
Heath Aster
Aster ericoides
Zones 3-9
Height:18-24 in
Bloom: Violet/Lavender, White/Near White 
Italian Aster
Aster amellus
'Violet Queen'
Zones 4-7
Height: 24-36 in.
Bloom: Violet, Lavender 
Japanese Anemone Anemone x hybrida
Zones 5-8
Height: 36-48 in.
Bloom: Magenta, Pink-Purple 
Joe Pye Weed
Eupatorium purpureum
Zones 2-8
Height: 36-48 in.
Bloom: Pink, Purple, White/Near White 
Lyon's Turtlehead Chelone lyonii
Zones 3-9 Height:24-36 in.
Bloom: Pink 
New England Aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Zones 3-8
Height: 36-48 in.
Bloom: Blue-Violet 
Russian Sage
Perovskia atriplicifolia
Zones 4-9
Height:24-36 in.
Bloom: Blue-Violet 
Showy Stonecrop Sedum spectabile
Zones 4-9
Height: 18-24in.
Bloom: Pink, Red 
Tree Mallow
Lavatera thuringiaca 'Barnsley Baby'
Zones 5-9
Height: 24-36 in.
Bloom: Pale Pink, Pink Rose, Mauve 
Variegated Garden Phlox Phlox paniculata
'Frosted Elegance'
Zones 3-8
Height: 24-36 in.
Bloom: Pale Pink, Rose-Mauve 
Verbena x hybrida 'Peaches & Cream' -
Zones-Annual Height: 6-12 in.
Bloom: Pink, Coral, Apricot, Orange, Cream-Tan 
White Mugwort
Artemisia lactiflora 'Guizhou'
Zones 3-8 Height: 4ft.
Bloom: White/Near White, Cream/Tan 
Wild Sunflower Elecampane Inula helenium
Zones 5-8
Height: 4-6 ft.
Bloom: Bright Yellow 
Yellow Wax Bells Kirengeshoma palmata
Zones 5-8
Height: 24-48 in.
Bloom: Pale Yellow

Black Snakeroot
Photo courtesy of  Dave's
Garden member, 'sanannie'

     Fall is a beautiful season for a wedding.  If you are lucky enough to already have a garden full of great fall-blooming plants with colorful foliage, count your blessings.  If not, it will be easy to create the illusion of a gorgeous landscaped garden with the right placement of pots sitting on decorative pedestals of varied heights.  Urns can be purchased at discount stores for little money and can be spray painted to fit into your color scheme.  Copper looks nice in the fall garden.

Photo courtesy of
Dave's Garden member,

Joe Pye Weed

Photo courtesy
of Dave's Garden

Variegated Garden Phlox

Russian Sage
 Photo courtesy of
Dave's Garden member,



Happy Gardening~

Research for this plant list was done entirely in the PlantFiles at Dave's Garden and also by speaking with gardeners that have grown these plants in their own gardens.

Japanese Climbing Hydrangea photo by Dave's Garden member 'growin'

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Kevin Rosseel and can be found at Morgue File , along with many more of his wonderful photo's.



  About Jacqueline Cross  
Jacqueline CrossI'm a native Floridian...feet planted in the shifting sands of northwest FL. but my heart strings are tightly knotted to the hills of Tennessee. I live with my poodle, Minnie Pearl, Zsa Zsa the cat who runs the whole show and a new addition, Kitty Belle. I'm a writer, gardener, quilter, cross stitcher, soapmaker and nature lover. Mother to 3 wonderful daughters & Nana to 6 perfect grandchildren. I also write for and was promoted to Feature Writer in the vegetable gardens section in 2008.

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