In the past decade, autumn bedding plants have come into their own. While there is not the same large selection available as with summer bedding, you can still create a great decorative seasonal display. You can choose from the ever popular autumn flowering pansies, violas and cyclamen.
While pansies are the most popular autumn bedding, it is its smaller cousin, the viola that takes centre stage. They really do come in all colours of the rainbow. Ranging from deep velvet purples, mauves and dreamy blues, to more translucent lilacs, pink, sorbet yellows, to soft creams and whites. You can use them to create winter window boxes and patio pots or for brightening borders close to the house. And what sturdy fellows they are! You might believe a snowfall would crush them. Yet as soon as the snow melts, they miraculously lift their dainty faces and spring back to life.
Cyclamen in pretty pinks and white is very hardy and cold tolerant, although they do tend to fade quickly in very wet conditions. To avoid this scenario, plant them where they are well protected in porches or close to the house under the eaves. Or perhaps you fancy one of their colourful winter flowering hanging basket to cheer up your front door during the dark winter days?
Providing you plant them in well conditioned soil, autumn bedding will generally look after itself so you really do not have to do very much once you have planted them out. You need only give some very light watering if conditions are very dry, but you will probably find that the days are damp enough to provide enough moisture.
Finally, remember it is also time to think ahead to next spring, so remember to plant your spring bulbs and your wallflowers too.