Maintaining colour and interest in the garden throughout the year is a challenge that every gardener faces, and one which is easily addressed for Autumn by expanding thinking to include shrubs which produce attractive foliage and colourful berries.
Easily incorporated into mixed beds and borders as part of a wider planting scheme, while the Autumn interest of these shrubs may be considered their main attraction, they also often have interest in other seasons too, making them great garden all-rounders.
We’ve chosen just five of our favourites…
Happy in sun or dappled shade, this lovely deciduous shrub produces small pink flowers in mid-Summer, but it is most prized for its clusters of striking, violet, bead-like berries which appear in Autumn and remain long after the plant has lost its leaves.
The colourful, showy berries which appear in Autumn and last through the Winter are what earns pyracantha their place in the garden. Whichever variety you choose, you’ll get a profusion of berries in red, orange or yellow – and these hardy evergreen shrubs are suitable for just about any soil or situation. They can be grown free-standing, against a wall or even as a hedge, and will also become a mass of pure white flowers in May – they are truly glorious all-rounders.
Originating from China, these lovely low spreading, woody shrubs are grown for their vivid blue flowers which form in small clusters from late Summer to mid-Autumn – but their simple leaves also usually develop good Autumn colour too, which is a definite bonus! Happiest in full sun, they like moist but well-drained, moderately fertile soil and can easily be propagated by rooting softwood cuttings in Spring or taking semi-hardwood cuttings in Summer.
Hardy and easy to grow, these shrubs are happy in most soils and a place in the sun (although the green-leaved varieties will also tolerate partial shade). If you have one of these gorgeous plants, you’ll enjoy their new Spring foliage which looks particularly beautiful with when covered in rain drops, and also the smoke-like effect of their fluffy plumes of flowers during Summer – but it is Autumn where they are arguably at their most beautiful, when all leaves gradually turn to brilliant shades of red.
The finely cut dark leaves of this distinctively shaped shrub or small tree turn simply breath-taking shades of orange-red in Autumn. In addition, you can also enjoy the yellow-green spikes of flowers in Spring, which mature to conical rusty red fruits over Summer and remain throughout the Winter, adding extra visual interest. Happy in full sun in moist, well-drained soil, rhus sometimes has a reputation for being invasive, but its spread can easily be restricted by surrounding the roots with a non-perishable barrier.
Providing colour either through their beautiful red berries, or through gorgeous flowers in some Winter-flowering forms, all skimmia are happy in partial to full shade, making them perfect for that difficult garden spot. If you choose these neat, compact, evergreen shrubs don’t forget that you may need male and female plants to ensure your berry display, which is preceded by beautiful white flowers in Spring.
We have lots of Autumn interest plants available in-store NOW, so visit us and choose the cast for your own amazing Autumn!