Charlie Dimmock visited The Early Show to offer up advice for sprucing up a tired garden.
Flowering Plants For Fall
Herbaceous Perennials: Eventually clump down to nothing, and then will come up again next year. Every three or four years, herbaceous perennials will need to be lifted and split, the dead centers of the plants thrown away and the remaining plant separated with a knife. Then they should be replanted and dug in with well-rotted manure.
Sedum: This is the one plant that will provide excellent value. It's easy to grow, doesn't need staking, it's strong structurally which means that it's not an insipid little thing but provides a bold, strong leaf shapes even when it's not in bloom. When it is in flower, there are pink flowers until October and even when it's over, the flower turns a russet color and also attracts butterflies.
Tricyrtis: Resembling a passionflower, it has blue and purple hues and likes moisture. Orchid-like, it wants to be planted in damp and shady places.
Rudbeccia: Black-eyed Susans do not want to be planted in wet patches and they will flower until October.
Criscomii Luciferr: This is a corm, which means that it grows like an iris rather than like a plant with roots. It looks like a freesia. Plant them as bulbs in the spring or you can buy them in growth. Cut them back after they've flowered but leave the leaves so that they continue to feed the corm for a while. They provide a dramatic background for other plants.
Liatris: Also called Blazing Star or Gayfeather, flowers from September through October, it can cope with most soils.
Achillaea: A herbaceous perennial looks like a wildflower, also comes in a range of colors like yellow, pink, white, and terracotta.
Seratastigma: A perennial with a vivid blue color, its green leaves turn russet in the fall.
Dahlias: Dahlias are such a strong and dramatic plant, that even if you have no garden whatsoever, this plant, in its own pot, will do you for autumn color. It fights the other plants in the garden and doesn't really seem to blend with any of them, so keep them in their own pot. They really work best on their own.
Beyond Flowering Plants
Chasmanthium latifolium: Or other grasses. The various seedheads, the way they look and the sound they make when the wind blows add flavor to the garden. They are attractive in winter and even after they die, their shapes are interesting to look at. They don't want much watering but should be planted in rich soil.
Extra Autumn Accents
A still life arrangement with the pot tipped on its side is an interesting visual element and can be constructed by simply arranging grasses, stone, one small succulent plant and a small grass and one urn. It's nice to find a use for a broken pot; just tip it sideways in the grass and it's like a little work of art.
Plant a pot of grass. Place pebbles in the top to stop weeds and retain moisture. With loam-based perennials, after a little top dressing and watering, they can stay as they are for 3 - 4 years before they need to be divided.