Hardy Garden Mum —Brian Wheat, AAF, PFCI, of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, ColoradoI’m blessed to live in an area of the country with four distinct seasons, where the trees and shrubs begin to notice the changing temperatures; their shadows grow longer, their leaves preparing for the inevitable change that’s lurking just around the corner. Across the country, fun-times abound with autumn festivals of pumpkins, hot apple cider and hayrides for many families’ weekend destination. A longstanding tradition of loading up the kids in the car and heading off to a farmer’s field to pick the perfect pumpkins and to make jack-o’-lanterns, connecting with Mother Nature and respecting her bounty. Fall is a time to be thankful, to reflect and show your appreciation by planting and by giving flowers.

Some wonderful traditional fall flowers to plant are the hardy garden mums with their palette of classic autumn hues of golds, yellows, bronze, purples and orange.

Asters with their shades of blues and purples make a striking display and the new varieties of rudbeckias that blaze with shades of yellow and orange with chocolate centers.

Rudbeckia—Brian Wheat, AAF, PFCI, of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado

Fall is a great time to plant cool weather pansies of all shades and colors, the purples and yellows really pop.

Pansies — Brian Wheat, AAF, PFCI, of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado

The ornamental kales and cabbage with their leafy ruffled edges add a nice texture to the mix.

Ornamental Kale Cabbage—Brian Wheat, AAF, PFCI, of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado

Ornamental peppers in hot shades of blazing orange and red, really dress up a fall patio pot. Dianthus, with its range from pure white to dark crimson, adds striking contrast to the fall color spectrum.

Dianthus—Brian Wheat, AAF, PFCI, of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado

The time to plant fall bulbs is also upon us. Planting now ensures the bulb will root, sleep all winter and then emerge in spring when moisture and temps are just right. Tulips, daffodils, crocus and fragrant hyacinths are among my favorites.

Now is the time to look around your neighborhood and town to see what you want to add to your fall landscape, to enhance your curb appeal. It could be ornamental grasses, burning bush, sumacs, viburnums or the brilliant red shades of Virginia Creeper vine. In addition to the shrubbery and flowers, the abundance of colorful fall trees cannot be overlooked. Oak, Ash, Aspen, Maples and even Gingko and Redbuds are easy to grow and give you many years of seasonal enjoyment. My personal favorite is the versatile ornamental pear that goes from white flowers in spring to green leaves that change yellow to red and then almost purple in fall.

Enjoy your fall, have fun viewing and appreciating the colors of nature and then, plant some of your own favorites. And keep in mind the positive impact of giving flowers, too — present a beautiful fall floral bouquet to your host at Halloween and Thanksgiving — guaranteed happiness.

What are your favorite fall flowers and plants?