Ok–if you really like those pots of mums all the stores have now–skip this blog post.  Gardening is about doing what you like–Not what I like or your neighbor likes.  It should be personal.  Otherwise just hire some pros to come in and do your yard. 

And in that vein, I don’t like those potted mums.  I’ve tried them–but always failed.    And while some people can make them work (en mass), not me.  Potted mums need too much water–look too formal–bloom and move on too quickly.   Planted in my garden–they look like hot house mushrooms and totally out of place. 

Here’s what I spend my money on instead:

Hardy annuals and biennials like–pansies, viola, snapdragons, dianthus, foxgloves.

Dianthus are planted in fall--stunning in springFoxgloves also winter over--the only way to grow them in NC

Winter vegetables like–collards, kale, mustard, chard

And the best value in gardening–a package of larkspur seed.  In Novemeber, rake them in open soil and enjoy lovely blooms in spring. 

Meanwhile to decorate my porch instead of mums–a bucket of garden foliage and grasses.  They’re free and they’ve looked good in this old pail for weeks.  (Check out the cool sign my friend Mandy sent me from France.)