Your patio containers have been growing since May, but they could be looking a bit tired, battered by downpours and baked by the sun.

This is the time to freshen them up for the rest of the season.

The traditional – not to say trite – solutions for this time of year are chrysanthemums, asters and flowering kale and cabbage. There is nothing wrong with any of them, but you see them everywhere. (Of the four, my favorite is the aster. First, it is native. And asters come in blue, which I like in the garden, as well as purple, white, red and pink.)

Other options include grasses, heuchera (for its foliage, and it comes in all colors), sedums and coreopsis (there are more colors than just the yellow, you know).

The first step is to check your containers to see what should be removed. Next, head to the garden center to see what you like that’s in bloom and likely to keep blooming through frost. Buy what looks good. Don’t look only at annuals though. The heuchera and coreopsis – many asters, too – are in the perennial sections of nurseries. Just move them into your garden when you empty the patio containers this fall.