Giving Thanks: Beautiful Autumn Landscapes for NJ Gardens

The colors of autumn inspire us to do new things during the change of season. While we love to bring the scents and experiences inside with pumpkin lattes, warm cinnamon candles gourds, Indian corn, apple cider and fallen leaves, there is much to still be done outside during this time of year. Bringing comfort and a sense of welcome to the outside of your home requires a little effort in this bountiful season of harvest. Let’s see if we get inspired with a few ideas.

beautiful autumn landscapesClean Up

Falling leaves dot yards and landscaping with vibrant hues. Your rake or leaf blower proves a valuable tool in protecting plants and grasses from mold, mildew, and suffocation. Keep leaves from piling up with regular raking parties.

Remember the Walkway for Safety

Clearing the walkway of debris provides safe passage to guests. Layers of leaves and grime become slippery when wet and pose a threat to family, visitors, and even mail carriers. While a few straggler leaves offer ambiance, the clearing of the overabundance protects your landscaping and guests while creating a fresh swept, clean and warm welcome.

Planting Basics

Adding plants that bloom in the fall complements the color in the trees at ground level. Put plants directly in the ground, in pots hidden among the existing foliage or within decorative vessels to dot gardens, porches, and decks.

Other Plantings to Consider

Some plantings may start in the fall, but others require nurturing earlier to reveal autumn blooms. Consider these options to add some late-blooming color to your landscape:

— Aster: pink, blue, purple, white.
— Colorful cabbage.
— Colchicum: pink or white.
— Fall crocus: purple.
— Goldenrod: cheery yellow.
— Helenium: yellow, orange or red.
— Russian sage: lavender blue flowers with silvery leaves.

Mums in several vivid colors and many varieties show off the essence of fall landscaping. Hearty and inexpensive, these blooms offer a vibrant palette of color. Be sure to add a few mums to your fall lineup.

Autumn Details

The fall harvest yields plenty of color and texture to create a welcoming walk to your front door or the back deck. Whether you choose to go simple and natural or to boost the mood with a bountiful, overflowing harvest, autumn lends itself to invigorating the senses while entertaining friends and family.

Keep it Cozy

Try one of these ideas for cozying up your landscape:

— Plant mums, colorful cabbage or other fall blooms in hollowed out pumpkins. Left natural or painted with glow-in-the-dar paint, these orbs festively accent gardens or highlight walkways.

— Use pumpkins, fall squash, gourds and bales of hay to create displays on your porch or deck steps. Attach or paint house numbers on stacked pumpkins to identify your home to guests.

— Of course, painted or carved pumpkins offer endless ideas for welcoming fall and visitors to your yard.

— Large planters stacked with pumpkins and gourds complement fall foliage in flower beds or on the porch.

— A wicker basket becomes a cornucopia when filled with pumpkins, squash, gourds, Indian corn, osage oranges, dried blooms and more.

— Old wheelbarrows, galvanized washtubs, old watering cans, vintage kids’ trucks and wooden crates offer creative alternatives for planting fall colors or stashing a few gourds, osage oranges and berry sprigs.

— Cornstalks on a porch, light fixture or birdhouse posts tied with twine or burlap ribbons tout a coming harvest festival.

— Crabapple branches bring the season home in vessels and vases.

— Remember a wreath crafted from fall leaves, corn husks or cobs, hydrangeas, or autumn blooms for a final welcoming touch on the front door or along porch rails.

— Drape a warm, wool blanket across two outdoor chairs, a hammock or porch swing for a cozy spot to immerse yourself in fall colors with a friend. Switch cushions to warm, rich fall hues.


As the days shorten and the sun sets earlier, fall lighting features lengthen your time outside. While secure, permanent fixtures offer safety, security and a bit of ambience with professional installation, the naturally haphazard fall landscape allows for creativity as well.

Details to Review

Be sure to:

— Check and repair current fixtures for security and ambiance.
— Consider adding lighting along the drive, path or landscaped areas.
— Place lights through the garden for a magical look.
— Drape lights along porch rails to create autumn festivity.

Move Beyond the Design Phase

Along with the shifting winds and falling leaves comes a season of bounty and gratitude. Even a small, well-placed, deep fuchsia mum or brilliant orange gourd symbolizes a reason to be thankful. Hosting family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday raises our desire to create a welcoming, homey space for loved ones to visit.

Local landscapers offer knowledge and expertise on plantings and landscape inspiration specific to New Jersey gardens. Along with Pinterest topping ideas, these professionals provide installation services to design garden accents for the perfect holiday atmosphere in your yard.  Do you feel inspired? Let them start to put your autumn landscape ideas together for you.

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