I've long been enchanted with the autumnal country garden look pioneered by garden designers Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden in the United States, and Piet Oudolf, in Holland.
One of the reasons we moved to the country was to have the space to grow many late-season perennials and the big swathes of ornamental grasses that look so good with them. I took the picture above one morning early this month looking down at the garden from my front door.
I notice that a lot of gardeners seem to miss out on fall. By late summer, they're ready to throw in the towel. I understand being tired of gardening by August (I know I am!), but it's still a shame to miss out on the beauty of fall.
For the most part, plants that bloom in late summer and fall are tough, drought tolerant and many of them grow tall and dramatic. Another interesting fact is that many of them are North American natives, which accounts for their toughness: they shrug off the drought, heat and humidity of our summers because that's the very climate that shaped their evolution.
For us northern gardeners the growing season is short enough so if you have the space, why not extend the flower show well into fall with some lovely late-bloomers and ornamental grasses? (I have lots of information about fall perennials and ornamental grasses on my web site here and here.)
I'm a keen gardener and garden writer and photographer, living on a country property of 10 acres near Hamilton, Ont.
I love ornamental grasses and easy-care, contemporary garden styles. In my garden I try to work with nature, instead of fighting it.
To email me, just change "at" to the usual: country.gardening[at]gmail[dot]com