As summer turns into autumn, many plants begin to fade. But that doesn’t mean your garden is finished until spring – there are a whole host of plants that keep giving throughout autumn and into winter.
Deciduous trees come into their own in autumn as their leaves change colour. One particular favourite is the Japanese Maple or Acer, which undergoes breath-taking colour changes. And the leaves of flowering cherry trees change to gold and fiery red before they fall.
Meanwhile, evergreen trees like conifers become stronger and change colour.
Autumn is a good time for shrubs because they offer up extra interest – berries! Firethorn and the snow berry (symphoricarpus) are great varieties. Cotoneaster is equally popular with wild birds, who love to gorge on its tasty treats.
Borders and containers
Brighten up beds and borders with plants that flower late or keep flowering for long periods of time. The yellow daisy flowers of Rudbeckia make a striking addition to beds, especially contrasted with delicate Verbena bonariensis.
Asters and chrysanthemums also continue flowering well into autumn as long as you keep deadheading them. Heleniums and kniphofia (red hot pokers) are great for adding colour to tired borders.
Put life back into your containers with ivy, heather, polyanthus and winter-flowering pansies and primulas.
Add height, movement and texture with grasses. Their fluffy seed heads liven up borders and create a great backdrop for other plants. Two great choices include Miscanthus sinensis and Calamagrostis brachytricha.
Fruit trees look their best in autumn, groaning with delicious harvest produce. And add some extra autumnal colour with Physalis alkekengi – the Chinese lanterns. The papery red fruit covers are instantly identifiable and have loads of character. Plus they have a touch of Halloween spookiness about them!