Fall is a great time to plant up the garden for many reasons - the days are shorter so the plants experience less transplanting stress, less water is needed to get established because the rainy season is around the corner (hopefully!) and since most plants are done with flowering, the plant can establish itself in its new home without the added work of putting out blooms as in spring planting.
Since hindsight is 20/20, you can see what plants you have in the garden that really performed (or not!) to your expectations over the past few months and make some changes. Perhaps you want to add another silver or chartreuse accent to the garden or need a bold foliage plant near the front porch. Maybe your garden is too spring-centric and you want to extend your bloom season by adding more fall-blooming plants like salvias. Maybe it’s time to take out those sorry looking lavenders - please do!
The best plants to put in the garden now are hardy plants like shrubs, groundcovers and frost-tolerant perennials. It’s also a good time to put in lawns and add colorful annuals to brighten up the grey days ahead like violets, violas, cyclamen, ornamental cabbage etc.
When purchasing plants remember to read tags or descriptions on the side of the pots for important information like sun and water requirements, mature size and bloom color. Prepare the ground by tilling and adding amendment/compost, make sure there is good contact between soil and roots by firmly tamping down with your hands, water the plant and keep an eye on it for stress.
Your work now will be rewarded in the spring with plants that are ready to take off!