Gardening 101: Instant Fall Garden

Fall-inspired container gardens are a fun and easy way to add color to your space. Get started today and enjoy a festive display for months to come!


We’re huge fans of container gardens. A few of the many reasons we love them: 1. They’re quick and easy to create; 2. They’re a fun way to make the most of your space and celebrate the changing seasons. From rustic red grasses to deep blue succulents, the colder months bring some exciting new container garden options. These plant combinations will add a much needed splash of fall color to your front porch, balcony, or deck. Check out some of our favorite container gardens and fall planting tips from the garden experts at Sunset magazine.

Sunset’s ”Eight Fall Container Gardens” features so many unique plant combinations. Our favorite: Touch of Bronze (pictured). Touch of Bronze features three different plants:

Pieris ‘Forest Flame’: Fiery red new leaves fade to pink, then turn dark green when mature. This shrub prefers part-shade and can reach 10 feet tall.
Dryopteris erythrosora: The hardy wood fern’s feathery new growth blends copper, pink, and gold tones that turn rust-colored in the fall. It grows 2 feet tall.
‘Little John’ azalea: Bronzy leaves make this azalea, which can reach 6 feet tall, a choice focal point.

Ready to get started? Check out our favorite fall planting tips and you’ll be good to go:

Small is smarter: Buy little plants (in 4-inch nursery pots); they’re less expensive, easier to handle, and will catch up to the larger ones with winter rains. Smaller plants are your best bet if you need multiples to fill out a bed.
Check plant tags: Find out how big the plants will grow, and whether they need sun or shade. Then choose plants that will thrive in the spot you have in mind for them.
Consider compost: Buy bagged compost to add to the soil before planting. Avoid bagged compost that looks as though it has been piled and stored in hot sun for months—it won’t do much for your soil.
Soak ’em: Water plants still in their nursery containers with a hose before planting.