Autumn leafs on the grass in the light of the sun.

How to Keep Your Garden Alive in the Autumn

Many borders fade as temperatures dip, but one packed with grasses, late flowers, and plants with strong, distinctive skeletons will solve the problem. It will look good through winter too.

When to plant: Autumn.

At their best: Autumn.

Time to complete: 3 hours to prepare; 3 hours to plant

You will need: Organic matter – such as well-rotted manure, spade, watering can.

Selection of plants to use: Aster x frikartii, Sedum ’Herbstrfuede’, Achillea ‘Walther Funcke’, Miscanthus sinensis, Feather grass, Stipa tenuissima.

Prepare the site

The autumn, before you plan to start planting, carefully clear the border of all weeds, and then dig it over thoroughly. Incorporate plenty of organic matter as you dig.

Plant up

In spring, buy plants and plant them in the border. Taller grasses, such as Miscanthus, can go toward the back, with sedums and asters at the front, and loose drifts of Achillea threaded throughout the middle.


Water the plants in thoroughly and apply a mulch of well-rotted organic matter. In spring, the asters and Achillea may require staking. Leave the border to stand as it is over winter, then cut it to the ground in spring.