Stunning Combo for fall: Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Heuchera ‘Green Spice’

This is one of my favorites fall combinations in the garden: Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and Heuchera ‘Green Spice’.

I’ve planeted it in a raised bed that gets 6-7 hours of sun which is on the lower side. Sedum loves sun and would benefit from more. If you can, put it in the sunniest and driest spot possible. The heuchera likes sun to part shade.

The pink sedum has been blooming for a few weeks now and will carry on for a few more. In the winter it will dry but keep its structure creating lovely winter interest, especially combined with the semi-evergreen Heuchera.

The dark purple center of the Heuchera goes beautifully together with the pink flowers

Succulent Arrangement with a Fall Theme

I got my hands on a bunch of succulents for half price. I’ve been making arrangements and touring them up because they just didn’t look right.

After quite a few failed attempts I realized what the problem was: most of the succulents were dark green – there wasn’t enough contrast and the arrangements looked dull.

I needed whites, reds and yellows. The colors that just happen to be fall colors. Luckily I keep a box full of fall decorations for fall wreaths. They came quite handy!

Aeonium ‘Red Edge’, Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’, Peperomia ‘Picturesque’ and dried moss
Cactus ‘Domino’, Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’

How to Dry Hydrangea Blooms

Hydrangea blooms are quick and easy to dry and can last for many years. I use mine in places around the houses where regular plants don’t do well, like dark corners. They bring a lovely feeling to the house.

Here’s how you dry hydrangea blooms in 3 easy steps.

Step 1 – Cut blooms and stems of the hydrangea

Make sure to cut above a leaf node – the place where one or many leafs meet the stem. It doesn’t matter how much of the stem you cut. I usually take quite a bit to make sure i can put it in a vase.

Step 2 – Remove all the leaves

You want to remove all the leaves, they don’t do well dried.

Step 3 – Make a fresh cut and put in water

Make sure to cut between two nodes – between the places where the leaves used to bet. Place in fresh water right away.

That’s it! All you have to do is wait for a couple of weeks for your hydrangea blooms to try. Don’t change the water and don’t mess with them too much during that time.

I’m planning to make a hydrangea wreath out of mine. Check in, in a couple of weeks to see how I did!

Dried Hydrangea Limelight
I accidentally torn off a few branches when removing the leaves. They worked out just fine anyway.

Aster novi-belgii ‘Early Blue’

Aster novi-belgii ‘Early Blue’ blooms from July to October

Asters are a great perennial for if you need late summer and fall color. The ‘Early blue’ variety starts blooming in July and goes on all the way to October!

Full of buds!

They get around 10-12 inches (30-35cm) tall and prefer full sun. In my garden they get around 7-8 hours of sun and they do really well.

Flower bed with Aster novi-belgii ‘Early Blue’, Peonies and Lady’s mantle

One flowerbed – three seasons

It’s almost hard to believe that this is the same bed! Early spring this bed is full of tulips. In June the peonies put on quite a show and late summer to fall belongs to the Asters.

DIY Fall Heather Wreath

I got my hands on some Heather (Calluna vulgaris) and decided to make a wreath.

You can make a this wreath with pretty much any plant that does well when dried. Lavender would be my favorite.

Step 1 – Get your materials

You will need:

  • a wreath form (I used a 20 inch metal form but any type and size is fine)
  • floral wire
  • wire cutters (I used scissors. It would but I would’t recommend it ;-p)

Step 2 – Make bundles

Separate the Heather into bundles and wrap them using the floral wire. You will need around 20-30 bundles, depending on the size of you wreath form.

Adjust the size of the bundles based on the size of your wreath form. Bigger forms require wider bundles – smaller forms do better with narrow bundles.

Step 3 – Tie the first bundle

Tie the first bundle to the wreath form. Make sure it’s tight!

Step 4 – Tie the remaining bundles

Continue to tie the bundles to the form on top of each other. Do every second one facing slightly inwards vs slightly outwards.

Step 5 – Check your wreath

Have a look at your wreath and make sure it looks symmetrical. Prune branches that might be sticking out or add an extra bundle to any area that might need it.

Disclaimer: At this point I realised that I wanted the bundles to start at the bottom and go upwards on both sized (not around in a circle). I redid all the bundles on the right side and had them facing upwards instead. It took some extra time and was was a bit of a pain but still worth it. It would have bugged me if I hadn’t fixed it .

Step 6 – Add decorations

It’s time for the decorations! It’s completely up to you how and how much extra stuff you want to add. You could just go with a nice piece of lace and be done with it.

I chose rowan-berries and hydrangea blooms since I had them in my garden.

Rowan-berries
Hydrangea ‘Little Lime’

Tuck the decoration into the wreath. Use wire if needed. I just poked the hydrangea and berry stems in between the Heather and messed around with them until I liked the way they looked.

Hydrangea “Little lime”
Purple and orange contrast each other

All done!

Hang your wreath in a spot where you can see it every day and enjoy!

Tiny and pretty Heather blooms

Chrysanthemums ‘Hardy Mums’

Simple yet so pretty – the Mum. It’s a sign that fall is coming when these show up in the stores. I picked mine up for just a few bucks while getting groceries.

Deep red Chrysanthemums ‘Hardy Mum’

It has just a few flowers but is packed with buds that are about to open. That is exactly how you want to get them to get the longest blooming time out of them. If you buy it with lots of blooms already open it will bloom over sooner.

Red Mum, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, Agastache ‘Purple Fortune’
The color of the Heuchera ‘Palace purple’ reflects the color of the Mum’s flowers.

Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’ (Summersweet)

My Sweetsummer shrubs are in full bloom and the fragrance is amazing!

Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’ (Summersweet), Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass) and Astrantia major ‘Alba’ (Great Masterwort)

I planted them close to the house so that I could walk pass them every time I go out into the garden and feel their scent.

Summersweet is a gorgeous shrub that blooms for 4-6 week mid summer until fall. It’s one of few shrubs that does really well in half to full shade, can tolerate wet soil and is loved by bees and butterflies. So if you have a shady and wet area this shrub will do the trick!

Summersweet blooms

Blooms open from bottom to top and attract bees and butterflies.

Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’ (Summersweet), Heuchera ‘Palace purple’, Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass), Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple) and Astrantia major ‘Alba’ (Great Masterwort)

Summersweet grows 2-4 feet (60-120cm) tall and 3-5 feet (90-150cm) wide. I planted them quite close to each other to create a small hedge that hides a messy potting table in the corner.

Late Summer Container Arrangements

Late summer is my favorite time of year for container arrangements. All that beautiful color both in blooms and foliage!

Purple Chrysanthemum, Sweet potato vine, Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima) and Hebe ‘Zea’

This year, I’ve planted up quite a few containers to bring the late summer feeling to the entrance of the house.

Purple Chrysanthemum, Sweet potato vine, Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima) and Hebe ‘Zea’

A simple design trick to make an arrangement look great is to pick just a few colors and to repeat them. In this case the Hebe’s yellow and green foliage is repeated in the potato vine. And the pink edges come again in the blooms of the Mum.

Both the Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ is a perennial and will come back next year. However, it’s always risky to winter over plants in containers so I might plant them in the ground in a month or two, just to be sure they make it though the winter.

Coleus ‘Chocolate Mint’ in the foreground
Coleus, Begonia and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’

Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ is one of my favorite plants for late summer and fall containers. It brings contrast to the arrangement that makes the other plants pop.

Rudbeckia Fulgida ‘Goldsturm’, Coleus ‘Chocolate Mint’, Carex ‘Evergold’, Chrysanthemum, Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ and Ivy
How it all came together