Gearing Up for Fall with Landscaping Tips from Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery

Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery believes there is an undeniable art to home landscape design. That is part of the reason why this family-owned operation, founded in 1974, has expanded over the decades. Their selection today includes not just plants and trees but also fashionable outdoor furniture and eye-catching decor. Today, with a little help from a few knowledgeable experts, all of this combines to create a perfect balance of space, texture and color that suits every individual’s needs and ideas.

fall landscaping
Fall is prime time for planting. The long days are cooling down, which is less stressful on new plants, but the soil is still warm, which promotes root growth before winter. Photo courtesy: Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery

Jacky Fausset is one such expert. A landscape designer, certified vocational horticulture educator and garden coach, she specializes in landscape design, plant knowledge and personal gardening experience. She’s been with Watson’s as their Landscape Designer since 2016. With more than 25 years of experience as an independent landscape designer, she’s attuned to the joys and the challenges of creative landscaping in spring, summer, winter and fall in the Pacific Northwest.

Prior to joining the Watson’s team, Jacky worked primarily on private residences, focusing on the lifestyle and personal preferences of each client. Jacky creates custom and comprehensive designs and doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter design. “Our goal is always to create a finished product that complements the architecture of the home and feels like a personal extension of the home,” says Jacky.

Just like Watson’s nursery, Jacky is in the business of getting her hands dirty for her clients. By taking advantage of the garden center’s personalized design packages, Watson’s customers have worked with Jacky to create truly one-of-a-kind displays. She has worked with many South Sound homeowners to spruce up front yards, put a fresh face or walkways and patios, and create an ostensible outdoor oasis right in her client’s own backyard…literally.

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Whether it is your patio area or an entire overhaul of your front yard, Watson’s has a unique solution to help you create a beautiful and inspired space. Photo courtesy: Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery

“I very much enjoy getting to know my client’s lifestyle and analyzing their site challenges,” Jacky says. “In turn, they trust me to interpret that graphically and choose a plant palette that evokes a certain garden style, provides interest in all four seasons and yet is low maintenance.”

“I’m fortunate to work with the Watson’s nursery staff that understand how important those plant choices are to the vision and lasting value of a garden. They go the extra mile to find and provide those unique and special plants as well as the tried and true PNW favorites,” she says.

This past year, Jacky has had the pleasure of meeting customers at their homes for two-hour garden consultations or coaching, creating comprehensive garden designs for clients by either renovating existing or planning new gardens. She has a few tips she’s excited to share with DIYers who are trying to prepare their outdoor spaces for fall weather.

The secret to having a beautiful garden, she explains, is not in the fancy details but in the fundamental knowledge of what a plant needs to grow. Specifically for each type of plant, this means how much light, water and nutrients it takes to thrive.

fall landscaping tips
Watson’s landscape designer Jacky Fausset has been awarded medals at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and served on downtown beautification and urban forestry committees in Washington and Oregon. Photo courtesy: Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery

Light: Every gardener should assess the sun patterns and the soil types on their property. We are all aware that the morning sun is the coolest and the hot afternoon sun is the most intense, but an understanding of where those shady and full-sun micro-climates are within your garden allow us to make better choices in plant material and ultimately be more successful gardeners.

Nutrients: Preparing each planting hole with generous amounts of compost ensures a nutrient-rich and moisture holding soil for our plants to thrive in. There is an old gardener’s axiom: a 25-dollar hole for a 25-cent plant. While this is a bit of an exaggeration, it makes an important point: invest in the soil first, then anything you plant will give you a great return on your investment.

Water: Summer can be a challenging time to keeping our plants watered. If you had some losses, consider replacing those thirsty plants with more drought-tolerant shrubs or perennials or installing an automatic watering system. An insulative layer of bark mulch also helps conserve moisture in the soil and suppress competition from weeds.

Fall, Jacky says, is prime time for planting. The long days are cooling down, which is less stressful on new plants, but the soil is still warm, which promotes root growth before winter. September is a great time to visit Watson’s well-stocked nursery, get inspired by displays of late-blooming perennials and colorful foliage, and also take advantage of sale prices on perennials, trees and shrubs.

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Join the team at Watson’s nursery for a special event, workshop or jubilee to learn about building a better garden and meet other plant lovers in your community. Photo courtesy: Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery

Jacky also reminds us that winter is the best time to prune deciduous trees and shrubs and to transplant your crowded perennials. It is also an opportunity to create a long-term plan for your landscape. “In my landscape design seminars at Watson’s,” Jacky says, “I teach homeowners how to create a base plan of their garden, identify microclimates and soil types and find the solutions to problem areas. I also focus on creating functional but beautiful outdoor living areas with pathways, patios and arbors. ‘Low-maintenance and interesting in all seasons’ is my most frequent request as a garden designer, so I have developed recommended plant lists for every garden style.”

Jacky offers one last bit of advice for folks that would help avoid many of their maintenance problems. Be sure to do your research on how large a tree or shrub will become at maturity to avoid labor-intensive pruning or future removal. Also avoid perennials that have invasive root systems unless you plan to grow it in a container. “Our knowledgeable nursery and perennial staff have that information for you if you don’t find it on a tag,” she says, “and can make recommendations for your particular area.”

For more information about landscape design and gardening, connect with landscape designer extraordinaire Jacky Fausset by email at

Have a general question about the availability of or how to care for a specific plant? Interested in an upcoming event or workshop? Contact Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery at 253-845-7359 with questions or connect on the Watson’s Facebook page.

Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery
6211 Pioneer Way E in Puyallup
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.