Get easy ideas for gardens with purpose because it’s not too late to dig in to late-season gardening.
Gardening with purpose gives a gardener intention, or a specific purpose. Whether it’s growing an organic garden, eating homegrown food or attracting birds to your outdoor space. These are just a few ideas for gardening with purpose.
See our other ideas below for late-season gardening with a purpose in mind.
1. Late-Season Pollinators
As the gardening season winds down, pollinators continue into a final frenzy, seeking out nectar. That’s why it’s a great idea to keep nectar-filled plants in your garden or containers.
Many bees work harder in fall to collect much-needed nectar to feed their colony through winter. Keep your planters fresh with late-season flowers and foliage that help bees get what they need to sustain them until the following season.
Pollinators will flock to perennial flowers including asters (shown above), coneflower, sedum ‘Autumn Joy,’ salvia and Russian sage. Chrysanthemums also attract pollinators. Choose a perennial variety so it returns again and again in your garden.
Pineapple sage is another pollinator magnet. This herb will attract hummingbirds, such as the ruby-throated variety. These hummingbirds like to fuel-up before migrating to south of the border between Mexico and Panama.
2. Grilling Garden
For grilling – and delicious aromas and flavors for meals and entertaining – this is your last chance to plant perennial herbs in your garden or containers. Choose herbs such as oregano (shown above), rosemary, thyme, lavender, chives and sage. Be sure to check these tips to help them survive winter.
Vertical gardeners can delight in the idea that herbs in wall planters will do well when placed on a wall that shields them from harsh winds during colder months.
You could also grow herbs indoors in small containers placed by a window. Herbs featured in Thanksgiving and holiday menus, such as rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage, can be kept in the kitchen and snipped as you need them.
3. Bird Haven
If you want to attract birds and watch them live and play in your outdoor space, fall is a great time to set out food and supplies for the birds, such as birdhouses, feeders with seed and bird baths so those who stick around will choose your backyard for their home. See our project on how to make your own birdhouse with succulents on the roof.
Fall is also a good time to plant shrubs, which provide ample cover for birds. Birds enjoy berry-filled shrubs, such as winterberry holly, which keep them well-fed through winter months.
4. Wellness Garden
We’re all looking for a little breathing room and gardens provide just that: oxygen-rich spaces for unwinding or focused activities like meditation and yoga.
Indoor spaces filled with vines and plants that purify the air, known as “green rooms,” can fill your home with fresh air and a sense of calm. You can create your wellness garden indoors with houseplants including pothos, dracaena, peace lilies, dieffenbachia and Boston fern.
5. Cut Flower Garden
Fall is a preferred time to plant seeds because it results in earlier blooms in spring. And bulbs planted now will bring late-winter and early-spring flowers, including daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. Just think how many fresh-cut flowers you’ll have starting in late winter with your fall-planted bulbs. Learn more about planting spring-flowering bulbs.
There are many other good reasons to plant in fall, too. The weather is cooler and you can take your time planting. Just follow planting instructions on your seed or bulb packet and be sure to plant before a freeze so your flowers have time to settle in for the winter. Then, add a slow-release bulb or flower fertilizer and a 2-inch to 3-inch layer of mulch around your garden so your garden, including newly planted seeds and bulbs, stays well-fed and insulated through winter.