Fall Favorites

Fall is a favorite season. I like reflecting on all the efforts made in the garden imagined in the winter, begun in the spring, and realized during the summer. Once the fall arrives, there is the beauty of the harvest to be appreciated. There is an entire season of hard work that is coming to a close. There is a sense of accomplishment in the air. Many plants, have emerged from the ground in the spring, grown, and bloomed. Many will exhibit striking fall color, in defiance of the garden going quiet. The well tended summer containers planted in late May and early June can look their very best before a hard frost. The fall represents the culmination of gardening efforts that have gone on in some form or another all season long. That said, there are those seasonal garden gestures that just hit their stride in the fall. The fall window box pictured above features the trailing creeping Charlie that grew in this box over the summer. The late season harvest of broccoli, cabbage, onions and brussel sprouts look great in this box with ripened gourds and pumpkins. The grapevine provides motion and rhythm to the arrangement. In a long chilly fall, an arrangement like this will last for weeks.

The fall container plantings have a limited palette. I do not mind that. A limited palette of plants means the arrangement created by the gardener in charge is all about that ability to combine and recombine familiar elements to create something new and fresh. The ornamental cabbages and kale are my favorite fall container plant. Our custom grown crop of cabbage and kale is the best it has ever been my pleasure to plant. The pots pictured above have cabbage that were grown three plants to a single pot. It did not take many plants to give these containers a generous and overflowing fall look. A cabbage cuff, as Rob said. A favorite element of broom corn are those long leaves that dry so beautifully to a pale green. Though the front entrance and porch pictured above is quite formal, the fall pots are exuberant and not too tailored. They do a good job of representing the idea of fruition that characterizes our fall season.

I am always grateful for the chance to fill large pots, no matter the season. This fall container stands out in the landscape. Soon the foliage on “Ruby Slippers” oakleaf hydrangeas will color up a deep wine red. This part of my clients’ landscape will shine once our temperatures drop.

Fall container plantings can represent any aesthetic. This fall planting is very trim, and simple.

This fall container planting is exuberant.

This Belgian stoneware container is planted for fall in an architectural, rather than a traditional way.

Gardeners of very different persuasions represent their gardens for fall in very different ways. I applaud this. It makes the landscape all the more interesting.

Of course we plant pots for fall at the shop.

Those shop plantings frequently have some fall fruits selected by Rob to accompany them.

fall planting with broom corn and redbor kale

As the nights cool, this kale will turn a dark rich purple.

trio of fall pots featuring coral queen cabbage.

These containers are at their English border style best at the end of summer. The obelisks from Branch lend structure to the planting.

Changing out containers one season to the next is a satisfying way to spend time in the garden.

the last of the summer

Planting containers for fall is a way to celebrate the beauty of the season.
























  1. Laurin Lindsey says

    I always love the way you decorate containers. I just ordered Laura Bush petunias and Pigeon Purple cabbages to add to the garden for autumn! Pinning this post!

  2. Stephanie Gest says

    Spectacular and inspiring as always. Wished I lived closer to you:)

  3. Kay Perret says

    Spectacular post, Deborah! The purple one in the Belgian stoneware container took my breath away. Ahhhhh.

    Thank you!


  4. nella davis-ray says

    Broom corn makes a great centerpiece. I will look for it.

  5. Beautiful container gardens! What kind of cabbage was used in the container with the “ruby slippers” oak leaf hydrangea? They are so big and the colors so lovely, soft.

  6. Eva Fierst says

    Do you build up the soil in order to create a conical planting? Do you use some form of scaffolding?

  7. Deborah Silver says

    Dear Eva, our fall centerpieces are secured to a bamboo pole with zip ties. Really heavy centerpieces are secured with steel rebar driven down into the soil on all four sides. I have written many essays regarding our process to set centerpieces. Look back to essays I have written in October of previous years. all the best, Deborah

  8. Deborah Silver says

    Dear Cathy, that cabbage is known as Ruby Queen. best, Deborah

  9. Fall is my favorite season too. The colors and textures are perfectly captured in your wonderful containers and inspirational designs.
    I always look forward to the fall arrangements.

  10. Linda Boggs says

    Deborah, these are amazing! Do you grow the kale and cabbages you use in pots or pull them out of the garden?

  11. Linda Gallinatti says

    Your Fall Containers are always wonderful……..this year they are without exception SPECTACULAR AND INSPIRATIONAL!

  12. Deborah Silver says

    Dear Linda, our kale and cabbage are custom grown for us in pots. best, Deborah

  13. Jeannine Eitel says

    I gasped at all the gorgeous fall containers!! I am just blown away by the creative genius’ of you and your staff! I look forward to each and every post!

  14. Drew Board says

    Is that project with the square boxwood hedges and the ginkgo trees used in the Unilock product catalog for the Umbriano summer wheat?
    By the way thanks for all your posts and writing I’m a huge fan!!

  15. Silvia Weber says

    Love the drama!

  16. Drew Board says

    No need to reply it is. Great work Mrs. Silver!

  17. Deborah Silver says

    thank you Drew for your interest! all the best, Deborah

  18. Deborah Silver says

    Me too, Silvia! best, Deborah

  19. Deborah Silver says

    Dear Jeannine, we just do our best to represent the harvest generously. Thanks for reading! all the best, Deborah

  20. Outstanding Fall containers. Truly works of art. Best of all, very inspirational. Thank you for sharing. I can not count the number of times I have taken ideas from your blog and made changes to my landscape and containers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  21. Sandy Boylston says

    How do you elevate the redbor kale to create the pyramid effect? Love your containers!

    Thank you,

  22. Deborah Silver says

    Dear Sandy, we do not elevate the kale. We are fortunate to have a grower that grows them to a substantial size. best, Deborah

  23. Jennifer Taylor says

    Ahhhhh, such magnificent pots! As so often happens when I read your posts, I am inspired to refresh my pots and can’t wait to get started. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work!

  24. Wow gorgeous! I stumbled upon your site when looking for window box and container ideas. I live in Brooklyn, limited space. My favorite is the top photo, the greens are so moody. Beautiful! Is it ok if I put some of your photos in my blog for inspiration? I will reference you of course and add a link.

  25. Deborah Silver says

    Sure thing, Tracey.Thanks for your letter. best, Deborah

Leave a Comment