Fall is the perfect time of year to see great colour in your garden. If your garden is lacking in fall colour, get out and take a walk or a drive to see what others are planting in their gardens. The sign of a great garden is that it has strong bones in the winter. This is usually in the form of evergreens and deciduous trees. A tree with out leaves can look majestic in the winter especially if it has unusual bark patterns. Today we will look at some great plants to use in your garden for extra colour. Once our flowers are finished for the season, this is what we have left.
This is Cotinus coggygria or smoke bush. It’s a shrub but can get to twenty feet unless pruned back a few feet each year. I love the deep purple leaves on this shrub. By pruning it a bit each spring, you will have a more compact shrub. If you leave it unpruned it will be a lot more open. It’s a matter of personal taste.I love how the rain and frost look on the leaves of this shrub, like diamonds.
Everyone asks me what this plant is in the garden. Its called Persicaria virginiana or Tovara. It’s in bloom now and is a self sower so if the seeds drop to the ground I will have hundreds of new plants in the spring. They are easily removed but the flowering branches can also be removed before it sets seed. I grow it for the brown triangular pattern on the leaves. This plant is nice paired with Hostas in partial shade.
I can say enough praise for Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. The large heart-shaped leaves are still holding their own in mid October. This year I was able to find Brunnera ‘Looking Glass’ and I am looking forward to seeing how it fares next year.
When we moved here we found out that we had a sweet gum and a sour gum tree. Both are excellent choices for fall colour. The one pictured above is the sweet gum or Liquidambar with its maple like leaves. It’s just beginning to change colour and is about two weeks behind the sour gum tree. This is a large tree so you must have room for it. Our sweet gun tree is about thirty-five feet high and the last arborist that was here said it was one of the larger ones he had seen. They don’t seem to like being planting in the city and tend to break. It must be our good country air that makes this tree happy.
If you have a small garden, why not grow blueberries. Blueberry shrubs can be grown in smaller gardens and just look at their fall colour. Our Delta soil is perfect for growing blueberries. Not only do you get flowers and fruit but fall colour as well. I say it’s a no brainer to choose a plant that has so many good attributes.
How about Sage as an ornamental in the garden? So many relegate this plant to the herb garden when it can be used throughout the herbaceous border adding its lovely soft grey leaves. This older plant now sports a hint of purple and would look lovely planted with Heucheras in the gardens. Don’t forget Sage is evergreen and helps to form the bones of the garden. It loves a position in full sun and will attract bees to the garden.
Just look at the blue flowers that Sage will give. So it has beautiful flowers, its evergreen, attracts beneficial insects and you can use it for cooking. It’s a must for every garden.
Another wonderful plant to use in the garden is Skimmia. It has glossy green leaves with dark pink flowers in fall. I am not sure which cultivar this is but its one of my favourite plants.
I planted the Skimmia with Hostas to have some contrast in the garden. I like the smaller leaves of Skimmia with the large Hosta leaves. Skimmia like a place in part shad to full shade. Mine are planted in deep shade of a cedar hedge and love it there.
There are many choices for fall colour in the garden. I showed a few of my favourites. It’s all about the foliage in my garden. If your garden has great foliage, there is almost no need for flowers. Today I am linking over at Digging for Foliage Follow-Up.