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Colourful rays of hope in an autumn garden

Many herbaceous perennials flower in August or, at the latest, in September. As the garden slowly moves into its dormant phase, colours such as green and brown dominate. People find this time of year rather dull can now set plants in autumn which will bring colour to the garden next spring.

Native autumn bloomers

Asters, which come in various colours such as dark red, lavender, purple, pink and white, are typical autumn bloomers. Autumn asters like a sunny bed position. Depending on the type and structure of the bed, you can choose between bushy asters, parviflorous heath asters and tall shrub asters. The coloured flowers work particularly well in combination with grasses. Bees and butterflies also take enjoyment from this delicious source of food since at this time of year there are still only a few pollen alternatives available. Autumn asters flower until the beginning of November depending on the variety used and the weather conditions.

Dahlias should not be left out here of course. They also bring garden owners enjoyment into the autumn with their colourful flowers. However, since they are summer bulbs, which cannot be planted now in the autumn, we will not go into any more detail about these garden stars here.

Another autumn classic is the chrysanthemum, which flowers from August to November depending on the variety. Chrysanthemums are often used to create splashes of colour in pots to provide decoration outside front doors or on patios, since they last for weeks. However, chrysanthemums can also be planted successfully in the garden. Take note, however, that most chrysanthemums are not hardy, even though they usually survive the first frosts unscathed. The hardy 'Poesie' variety, which has white flowers, is best suited for use in flowerbeds. The soil should be rich in nutrients and porous because chrysanthemums cannot tolerate stagnant moisture. Location is particularly important for the growth of the plant: The sunnier their position in the garden, the more prolific the chrysanthemums will be in terms of flowering. And the more protected they are from the wind, the longer the flowering period will be. Chrysanthemums should be protected in winter with brushwood or leaves.

Exotic flowers

For fans of the exotic, we have tips for really special autumn flowers which many amateur gardeners don't even know about.

Saxifrage (saxifraga in Latin) belongs to the saxifrage genus. The Latin word, saxifraga, literally means 'stone-breaker', and this frugal plant thrives extremely well in a rockery or stony location. Saxifraga cortusifolia 'fortunei', for example, flowers late and is commonly known in Germany as 'little October'. The leaves are lobed and leathery and look beautiful all year round. Towards the end of the gardening season, however, they turn an ochre colour and are particularly attractive. Star-shaped white flowers which appear to float on stems up to 30 cm long grow in September and October. Areas which are shaded or semi-shaded provide the best conditions for saxifraga cortusifolia 'fortunei'.

Another, not so common, plant is the chasteberry, which flowers between August and October. The flowers are light purple, blue, pink or white and form panicles up to 30 cm long which have an aromatic scent. Chaste trees or monk's pepper often used to be planted in the gardens of monasteries as the fruit was also used as a spice and as an anaphrodisiac in order to quell 'abject carnal desire'. Chaste trees grow to a height of approximately three metres. Their leaves are plumed like hands and exude a pleasant scent when ground down. They prefer to grow in damp locations such as near a pond.

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