Fancy some flaming autumn colour in the garden? This is a good time to choose trees and shrubs for autumn leaf colour. The hot, sunny summer and mostly dry autumn have allowed deciduous plants to appear at their best this year, and you can view them in all their blazing glory till the leaves come down and they nod off to sleep for winter. Here are a few of my favourite picks for a bonfire blaze at this time of year, with something included for all garden sizes:
Liquidambar styraciflua – also known as the sweet gum tree, a group of these stopped me in my tracks recently on the NUIG campus. Even on a drizzly, grey day they seemed lit from within.
Rhus typhina – or stag’s horn sumach – this large shrub turns brilliant shades of orange and red and does very well in the West of Ireland – I’ve passed by countless specimens thriving in gardens on my travels round the region.
Acer palmatum “Dissectum” – a Japanese Maple cultivar with finely cut leaves. Most Japanese Maples colour up well in autumn, and if you can’t fit a full sized tree they’re usually happy in a large container as long as they’re in a sheltered spot.
Trachelospermum jasminoides – this plant is absolutely brilliant. A slow-growing climber, it’s got everything: sweetly scented creamy white flowers in summer – it’s also known as star jasmine – and glossy evergreen leaves, that take on brilliant crimson tints around the edges in autumn and winter. If you have a sunny, south facing wall – it’s borderline tender – this one is not to be missed.
Geranium “Wlassovianum” – a good garden designer will select hardy geraniums for you that provide you with flower colour from summer right through autumn, but some cultivars have foliage that colours up really well in autumn too – always a plus, but even more so where space is limited and you can’t fit in a larger shrub or tree.
Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.
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