Plant shimmery ornamental grasses and flame-colored flowers for a great fall garden
Homeowners Jim and Jamie deYong chose to mimic the golden hills surrounding their San Luis Obispo home with sunny hues in
their garden. A half-dozen species of ornamental grasses grow in neat rows near the perimeter of the garden, tying it to neighboring
vineyards. In the front and back courtyards, carex and other short grasses continue the theme, while fiery foliage and flowers
add to the autumnal mood.
We've made a guide with the right plants and methods to help you recreate this color scheme in your own yard. Follow this simple formula to produce striking results in any garden, even without the golden hills nearby.
Design Ryan Fortini Design Group, San Luis Obispo, CA (fortinihome.com)
Plant torch lily beside a red cordyline to make its orange flower clusters really pop. Fill in around both with low mounding
grasses, such as Carex glauca, and perennials like Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.
Add a row of Stipa gigantea, like the ones behind the wall, as a backdrop; if possible, position these grasses where the sun can backlight them for part of the day.
Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) clusters around a path, while two reddish brown smoke trees draw your eye through golden clouds
of flowering Stipa gigantea.
Space ornamental grasses far enough apart so that, after they mature, they can move gracefully in the wind.
Torch lily (Kniphofia uvaria). Orange or yellow flower clusters emerge from grassy clumps.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. Dense flower clusters start out blush pink, then age to rust as the weather cools.
Fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale). Foxtail-like plumes emerge from 2-foot-tall mounds of gray-green foliage, then fade to golden brown.
Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’). Deciduous shrub with purple foliage turns more burnished in fall; flowers resemble puffs of smoke.