Many plants pop into the foreground in September after waiting all season for their chance to shine. It is possible to design a garden that looks great year round by taking note of what stands out each month and finding a spot for a grouping of those plants in your own yard, so that the stars always take turns.
One plant that is just beginning to bloom is the New Mexico Sunflower. Planted in full sun against a wall, it will reward you with six foot stalks of yellow blooms all the way up it. In the shade these plants grow in twists trying to reach the sun, and they end up being very messy and floppy. Give them the sun they deserves and they will reward you. I think of them as the fall equivalent of hollyhocks.
You may have noticed a vine around with feathery plumes on it. That is hops. It grows very well and looks beautiful in the fall. Of course, Virginia Creeper is starting to turn red, and no vine can compare with those scarlet leaves.
In the shrub world, one of the best for fall and early winter is pyracantha. The orange and red berries have just come out to add color otherwise plain areas. These can need quite a bit of pruning, but they are worth the effort. They get to about 15 feet tall and branch like a small tree, so give them plenty of space, particularly against a wall.
Of course, this is always the time I wish I had peach trees. As well as being delicious, they are quite pretty with their orange fruit. Grapes are now starting to ripen, and nothing smells as good or looks as pretty as an arbor dripping with bunches of grapes. These are just some of the fruits that grow very well in our Santa Fe climate.
Other good September plants are Autumn Joy sedum, Salvia greggi, morning glories, gayfeather, and other fruit trees.