Gorgeous plants for an autumn glow
Alas! T’is the end of summer, and the days are getting shorter. But there is much garden beauty to be enjoyed yet, with the slanting rays of late summer and into autumn illuminating gorgeous planting with etheral light. To create a stunningly natural warm glow in your garden at this time of year, plant one or more of these essentials.
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’
This hydrangea comes into flower a little later than other varieties, but boy is it worth the wait! Not only does it sport delightfully delicate plumes of double white flower clusters, it has a second, even more stunning trick up its sleeve. When the days get colder, this plant gets better and better, with oak tree shaped leaves turning from deep green to rich tones of plum, russet and bronze-purple. A delight for any garden – plant in a partly shady spot in moist soil.
A small shrub that hides insignificantly in the borders throughout the summer, providing a backdrop of green and acting as a foil to other, showier plants. It is in autumn that this plant comes into the limelight, glowing bright crimson and putting everything else in the shade. Beware that this plant is highly toxic if eaten, so don’t!
Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’
Another Euonymus, a woody shrub often grown as a small tree. Not only do the leaves turn iridescent crimson in autumn, when they fall off, these showy seed pods in bright pink and orange remain on the bare branches. A thing of unusual and remarkable beauty. Also, avoid eating as it’s poisonous.
Cotinus coggyria ‘Grace’
Also known as the smoke bush, this deciduous shrub has purplish pinkish foliage throughout the growing season, and pinkish flowers with soft fluffy smoke like texture appear in July and August, giving the plant its common name. But it’s in autumn that the plant truly glows. When the sun hits its autumnal foliage from behind, its semi-translucent leaves turn a brilliant shade of red. Truly wondrous if planted in a sunny border where the late afternoon sun can illuminate it from behind.
Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’
Last but not least, for an injection of seriously full-on autumn colour, you can’t go far wrong with this wonderful late flowering Monkshood. The purple hoods are so vibrant they are practically iridescent, so that this tall plant calls to you from deep in the borders. Plant en masse for serious effect, with grasses and other late flowering perennials such as Echinacea. NB All Monkshoods are highly poisonous.
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