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Autumn colour: Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood'

Garden design solutions: 7 fantastic plants for autumn colour and interest

As summer slowly fades into autumn, the seasonal change is all too apparent in our gardens. The multi-coloured displays of June, July and August may be over, but the fiery yellows, oranges and reds of September, October and November more than hold their own. Autumn may often provide a more restricted palette of colours, but it is certainly no less interesting. We might not be spending as much time out in our gardens during the autumn season, but that definitely doesn't mean we should forget all about it.


Here are our top 7 ‘must have’ plants for autumn colour and interest:


1. Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’ (Smokebush)

A glorious large deciduous shrub with rich purple leaves, and plumes of tiny silver-grey flowers (often thought to be reminiscent of smoke). Provides absolutely superb autumn colour as the foliage turns to bright yellow and orange.


​2. Acer 'Bloodgood’ (Japanese maple) (pictured above)

A wonderful architectural shrub that catches the eye throughout the spring and summer but which really takes its turn in the autumnal spotlight when it transforms into a remarkably vivid red. Simply glorious as a statement plant in a mixed planting scheme.


3. Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy)

Simply the best (albeit rather vigorous) climber for autumn colour in our opinion. Provides a wall of vibrant reds and oranges from late summer to mid-autumn before finally shedding its leaves as the temperatures drop. Brilliant on a north or east facing wall, Parthenocissus is self-supporting so there is no need for wires or trellis.


​4. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Stonecrop)

Often in flower throughout the whole of the autumn, this is a wonderful perennial with thick and fleshy blue-green leaves and large clusters of tiny salmon-coloured flowers. Not your typical autumn colour perhaps, but a wonderful addition to the seasonal composition.


​5. Cornus ‘Sibirica’ (Dogwood)

Better known for winter colour, Cornus ‘Sibirica’ is often overlooked in the autumn. The rather anonymous mid-green summer leaves turn yellow and orange, before slowly falling to reveal the wonderful red stems. A welcome addition to any autumn planting display.


​6. Malus ‘John Downie’ (Crab apple)

Arguably the best crab apple for a small to medium sized garden, ‘John Downie’ provides attractive autumn interest through both its foliage and the wonderful orange and red fruit. Hanging abundantly on the tree for a prolonged period of time, the spherical fruit also provides welcome colour long into winter.


​7. Liquidamber styraciflua (Sweetgum)

The king (or queen) of autumn trees if you have the room, this large and majestic tree boasts an unrivalled autumnal display of crimson, gold and bronze. It can get large, but if space isn’t an issue, then this really is a tree you will want to have.


Seven great plants to enjoy this autumn. How many of you got in your garden?

Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.

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