Fall flowers are a welcome addition to a long colorless winter. Mixed use of colorful pansies and kale planted in your landscape add a smile to my face every time I drive up to our house. When deciding on flower color for the winter & fall think about making an impact close to your front door or center flower beds. Create focal points that draw your eyes forward. By creating focal points you can cut down on the number of beds you plant your pansies. For example, you may have 6 beds you plant spring & summer flowers, but that does not mean you have to re-plant those same beds. Instead, choose the beds closest to your front door so visitors can enjoy them every time they walk up to the front door.
Color: Remember that fall flower colors last until May so those beautiful oranges and burgundy look great in October & November, but may be tiresome by March. Once Christmas is over I enjoy lighter colors in the landscape as we look forward to spring. One of my favorite pansie mixes includes light blue, white, and pale yellow. These colors stand out in the winter months. For the fall our focal points include hay bales, scarecrows and pumpkins so your eyes are not as drawn to the color of the pansies.
Kale and cabbages grow taller and should be planted behind the pansies. When choosing your kale and cabbage get thicker plants that are not tall or leggy. Think about color combinations as kale & cabbage tend to come in green, white, and purple colors.
We have found that cabbage and kale do not attract rabbits as much as the pansies do (guess Texas rabbits have not read any of Beatrice Potter’s books). We have also found raw eggs mixed into the soil when planting pansies can also deter rabbits. Once planted you can sprinkle ground red pepper around the flowers to also deter rabbits.