Brighten beds with fiery flowers
Plant torch lily beside a red cordyline to make its orange flower clusters really pop. Fill in around both with low mounding grasses, such as Carex glauca, and perennials like Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. Add a row of Stipa gigantea, like the ones behind the wall, as a backdrop; if possible, position these grasses where the sun can backlight them for part of the day.
> Related: 20 beautiful flowers to plant now
Set lighter plants off with chocolate-colored foliage
Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') clusters around a path, while two reddish brown smoke trees draw your eye through golden clouds of flowering Stipa gigantea. Space ornamental grasses far enough apart so that, after they mature, they can move gracefully in the wind.
Add a touch of sunshine yellow
A single well-placed variegated plant can lend a glow to a garden bed. Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' fills that role here; it rises above a sea of creeping carex, sedums, and thyme. For more burnish, add copper-toned planters such as these rusted steel cubes.
Bring on the heat
Plant torch lily (Kniphofia uvaria). Orange or yellow flower clusters emerge from grassy clumps.
Dab on some blush
Incorporate Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. Dense flower clusters start out blush pink, then age to rust as the weather cools.
> Related: Add more bright color to your garden with berries
Mix in neutrals
Use fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale). Foxtail-like plumes emerge from 2-foot-tall mounds of gray-green foliage, then fade to golden brown.
> Related: 8 fall grasses to plant now
Choose fiery succulents
We recommend hen and chickens (Sempervivum tectorum). Rosettes of fleshy bronze leaves hug the ground beside smaller Sedum spurium 'Dragon's Blood'.
> Related: How to incorporate succulents into your garden
Get red hot
There's nothing more gorgeous this season than a smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'). Deciduous shrub with purple foliage turns more burnished in fall; flowers resemble puffs of smoke.
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