While spring might get more accolades for its flowers than any other season, the fact is that autumn is where it all begins. Whether from bulbs or seeds, many spring stunners go in the ground before winter, with some even blooming during the colder months.
What’s more, lovers of low maintenance can rejoice in the wide range of easy-to-grow flowers suitable for planting in autumn. Read on for some of our favourites.
Growing flowers from bulbs v. seeds
Confused about bulbs and seeds? Don’t be. You don’t need to choose one or the other – it’s simply a matter of what type of flowers you want to see in your garden. There are plenty of easy-to-grow flowers in both camps.
In general, bulbs are perennials, some of which are quite happy to naturalise into a garden bed for years. Flowers grown from seed, on the other hand, often work better as annuals. This may not apply in all cases, so it’s worth doing a bit of research before planting.
Easy flowers to grow from bulbs
Dutch Irises are enjoying growing popularity, perhaps due to the fact they’re so easy to grow and require very little in the way of maintenance.
They grow in most parts of Australia, from cool through to mild tropical, and are generally happy left to their own devices before putting out stunning purple, white or even maroon flowers in late spring. They’re fab as cut flowers.
Beautiful freesias will grow in almost any climate in Australia, from Queensland to Tasmania.
They’re not fussy about soil type or fertiliser, with the one exception being boggy or poorly drained soils. Freesias have a lovely perfume and cheerful blooms that make excellent cut flowers. Even better, they’re among the easiest bulbs to grow.
These striking ornamentals in the onion/garlic family produce distinctive, statuesque flower heads from late spring, as the foliage is dying down.
The elegant flowers last for weeks both on the plant or in a vase. Alliums are an easy to grow bulb, requiring little water once established.
Easy flowers to grow from seed
Alyssum ‘Carpet of Snow’ is a hardy annual that produces masses of tiny white flowers just a few months after sowing. This versatile, ground-hugging plant is great for edging, borders and in containers, creating a striking colour contrast. It can be planted throughout the year as desired.
Nasturtiums are so easy to grow, and look gorgeous trailing or climbing through beds and trellises. These hardy annuals will happily put out their bright orange, yellow or red flowers reliably in nearly any position or soil – poor soils included – and do well in containers.
As if that wasn’t enough, the leaves and flowers are edible with a delicious peppery kick.
Pansy ‘Swiss Giants’ has large, brilliantly coloured flowers that bring cheer and character to borders, window boxes, tubs and other containers. While technically hardy perennials, pansies are best treated as annuals. Sown in autumn or early winter, they’ll flower the same year in spring to early summer.
A pollinator-friendly garden
Flowers are more than just a pretty face. They play an important role in attracting pollinating insects like bees and butterflies to your garden. Pollinators are vital to the reproductive processes that cause plants to produce fruit (see our post on Butterfly-Friendly Gardens for more info on this.)
If you’re growing produce such as squash, pumpkins, zucchini and cucumbers, or certain kinds of fruit trees, you’ll benefit from having a diverse variety of flowers in your garden across all seasons, as this will attract the interest of foraging pollinators.
Some edible veggie plants, such as many types of heirloom beans, have their own interesting and attractive flowers that make for an intriguing display in their own right.
Bring on the blooms today!
With a bit of planning and forethought, getting flowers started in your garden can be easy. Try out one of the suggestions above, or browse our online nursery for a huge selection of seeds, bulbs and plants for every season.