For the fall cutting garden, the author favors autumnal colors.
All of these plants have fairly long stems—at least 12 inches in length—that can easily be used in arrangements. I like to choose colors that I may have avoided for spring and summer bouquets, so I look for dahlias or sunflowers that display the characteristic colors of autumn, such as the warm shades of orange, reddish brown, butterscotch, and burgundy. They mirror the seasonal colors that appear throughout the fall landscape and add rich color to a home when brought indoors.
Although I like cut flowers to have long stems, I'm willing to take what I can get in late fall. The decreasing number of plants coming into bloom in autumn also means companion flowers may be in short supply for the vase. As the days pass, I find that my flower arrangements are often composed of masses of one kind of flower, so I try to grow flowers that look good on their own.
Autumn's cut flowers generally last a long time in the vase, some as long as two weeks, due in part to the cooler temperatures of the season. Cutting a handful of flowers is always my reward after sessions of readying the garden for next year. To me, cut flowers from your own garden are the most natural reflection of the area in which you live—much more so than florist flowers that are flown in from abroad. The following are 10 of my favorite cut flowers for autumn. Some are plants that continue flowering from summer into fall, while others don't begin blooming until the air becomes cool and crisp.