Yes, autumn is the perfect time to pick what to plant. If you want open-pollinated seeds, spring will be too late because the seedsmen will be working on making seeds to sell next year. But even if you are going with hybrids or sets, now is the time to decide what to buy.
Flowers. You can get more out of your flowers if you plant things that attract bees, birds, and butterflies. But the hybrids may look nice and not give these critters anything they want. The old-fashioned open-pollinated flowers will nourish them beautifully.
Golden cosmos attracts bees and clouded sulphur butterflies, and the seeds attract goldfinches.
Indian Blanket is splashy and hummingbirds will sometimes visit them.
Bee Balm attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds but mosquitoes hate it, and it has a nice scent.
Korean dill has a lovely fragrance in the late summer and autumn; butterfly caterpillars will eat it without destroying it and it attracts lacewings which destroy the eggs and young larvae of harmful insects.
Amaranth also attracts beneficial insects, and finches like the seeds.
Joe Pye Weed tolerates shade very well and will be swamped by butterflies from the end of July through August.
Butterfly weed, cardinal flower, scarlet sage and Scarlett O'Hara morning glory will bring in the hummingbirds.
Night-blooming stock and moonflower will give you lovely evening fragrance, while
Heliotrope and dame's rocket will scent your garden during the day.
Nasturtium, pansy, and calendula are edible as well as beautiful.
All of these are annuals and will re-seed themselves year after year, so try one thing and then add more as you become convinced that you don't necessarily have that disastrous affliction "black thumb" which killed every plant you ever owned before.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved