October is arguably the most beautiful and most underrated month in Austin. Just as the fall wildflowers, ornamental grasses and perennials put on their second season of bloom, many trees like Elms and Flameleaf Sumac are getting their first blush of fall color. October is a perfect time for planting all kinds of plants in Central Texas. Here are a few of my seasonal favorites.
Pansies and Violas- nothing says “welcome cool weather” like the little smiling faces of pansies and violas. At Natural Gardener this week they have Viola ‘Black Delight’ available just in time for Halloween. Mix them with some orange and purple pansies or golden-hued calendula for a fun look that will bloom all winter!
Shade Trees- Did you know that October 26 is Austin Arbor Day? National Arbor Day is in the springtime, but spring is not the right time for planting trees in Central Texas. Plant your trees now through March to give them an opportunity to get their roots established before summertime heat and drought set it. My favorite shade tree? The majestic Bur Oak, with it’s huge, fuzzy-topped acorns and gigantic leaves.
Roses- We are so fortunate in Austin to have a mild climate that is great for roses. We have access to many varieties of roses that bloom twice- once in spring and again in fall. I have ‘Carefree Beauty’ in my yard and she lives up to her name.