Autumn Leaf Colour
In every garden there should be plenty of shrubs, and perhaps a few trees, for autumn leaf colour – those which produce brilliant reds, scarlet, crimson, orange, flame shades and deep golds. The shrubs combine marvellously with autumn flowers, such as perennial asters (Michaelmas daisies) and, and with shrubs noted for their colourful berries.
As with so many plants, those noted for autumn leaf colour need a dark background so their colours show up really well. I particularly favour dark conifers (especially pines if you have the space to grow them).
Otherwise use more restrained shrubs such astinus.
SOME PLEASING PLANT GROUPS
• A background of the dark green Pinus cembra (Arolla pine), with Acer palmatum varieties, or Acer capillipes, in front. Perhaps a graceful birch (Betula) with white bark.
• Cotinus coggygria ‘Flame’ (brilliant flame colours) with a group of pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ or ‘Sunningdale Silver’), which will still be in flower.
• To brighten up a wall or fence try Vitis coign etiae (scarlet and orange autumn colour) and the cream and green variegated ivy.colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’.
• If you are lucky enough to have a woodland area, try planting an acer glade, using varieties of Acer palmatum and/or Acer japonicum. Otherwise plant one or two in a mixed shrub border.
TREES FOR AUTUMN COLOUR
Acer Capillipes (red tints), Crataegus prunifolia (orange and scarlet), Liquidambar styraciflua (crimson and purple), Mains tschonoskii (red and gold), Nyssa sylvatica (red, yellow and orange; needs acid soi),Parrotia persica (crimson and gold).
SHRUBS FOR AUTUMN COLOUR
Acer japonicum and varieties (red or crimson), Acer palmatum varieties (red, crimson or flame),thunbergii (brilliant red), Cotinus coggygria ‘Flame’ (brilliant orange), quinquefolia (tall climber; brilliant orange and scarlet), luteum (orange, crimson and purple), Rhus typhina (scarlet, red, orange and yellow), Viburnum opulus (red and yellow), Vitis coignetiae (climber; brilliant crimson and scarlet).