I’ve been very fortunate so far this fall because I haven’t had a frost yet. Killing frost has hit gardens just north of me weeks ago, so I know it’s just a matter of time. Perennials in many areas of my garden are starting to look a bit ragged as they decline in vigor and go dormant. Some trees are putting on their fall display and others are dropping their leaves. It’s kind of sad to see the gardening season winding down.
The bright spots in my yard all have annuals and tropical plants. If nothing else, extending the season of color into late fall is a fabulous reason to add some of these plants to the landscape. Two containers flank my front door. Each has dark pink dragon wing begonias. One features a ground ivy that drapes down the side while the other has a mandevilla that climbs bamboo stakes. Isn’t this a colorful way to greet visitors?

Vibrant containers welcome guests.

Peach-colored mandevilla.

Opposite the front door I have a small rock patio with another large pottery container that echoes the same plants and color scheme. I repeated the dark pink dragon wing begonias and ground ivy then added a canna for height. The pink color found in the canna leaves matches the begonias. Orange flowers may seem a bit shocking but, wow, do you notice?! About fifteen feet away, I’ve planted another canna directly in the garden soil. Repeating the canna in the landscape in several places unifies the garden and is pleasing to the eye.

An additional container with similar plants adds drama.

The shape of the canna leaves contrasts with nearby castor bean leaves.

One of this year’s container masterpieces is an old terracotta pot filled with bright red tuberous begonias. It’s been blooming for months! This type of begonia has fleshy stems that seem to break easily when the wind blows. What you don’t see in the photo is about twenty-five bamboo stakes stuck into the soil to prevent the plant from swaying in the wind. I love the contrast of these large red begonias and nearby Rudbeckia ‘Indian Summer’.  A close-up of a tuberous begonia female bloom shows the swirling stigmas – Mother Nature’s art!

Tuberous begonias steal the show

A close-up of tuberous begonia blooms.