It’s at this time of year that I have to make a supreme effort to be upbeat about gardens, the change in seasons takes a bit of getting used to. One of my techniques to help me adjust is to get outside and find some autumn colour, I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find some with-in a 10 minute walk.
It doesn’t have to be a blaze of glorious reds and orange, all the shades of just-turned green to mellow- yellow and beyond will do just as well. But if you find yourself in an autumn colour deprived neighbourhood, then plant some in your own patch.
- Position them where you can see them from at least two windows in your house, kitchen and/or sitting room is best. They’ll be a bit wasted at the far and of the garden behind the shed, where chances are you won’t want to venture on a damp, autumn day.
- Try and get a succession of colour so that it extends for as long as possible, My Japanese Acer dropped it’s leaves a week ago, but the Cotinus has gamely taken on the baton and is looking wonderful.
Depending on the size of your garden you could choose:
- A vine to clamber across your house, shed or fence
Vitis coignetiae (Crimson glory vine)
This wonderfully named climber is on a mission to take over, but it’s a beauty if you have enough room .
12m high x 4m wide
full sun or partial shade
not fussy about type of soil.
Or a grapevine, then you’ll get fruit too, pruned and trained they don’t take up too much space.
- A large shrub
Cotinus coggygria (smoke bush)
5m x 5m
sun or part shade
not too fussy about soil
can be left, but I prune mine in early spring to keep it more bushy and compact and the leaves are bigger too.
- A smaller shrub that grows in a pot
Japanese maple ( Acer)
They need a slightly acidic soil, the type where rhododendrons and azaleas grow.
The red and purple types need a good amount of sun to develop their colour while the green/white variegated ones need shade so they don’t scorch.
- A tree
Acer griseum (paperbark maple)
Perfect if you only have room for one tree, with autumn tints and peeling, papery bark.
10m high x 6m wide
sun or part-shade.
Most soils will do, but it doesn’t like to be waterlogged.
There’s an earlier post here about how to plant a tree.
All images; Jill anderson