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4 great plants for autumn colour

Just because the summer’s coming to an end doesn’t mean you can’t still have colour and interest in the garden. Autumn is only round the corner, and for Ladybrook Nursery that means we know we can look forward to a period of rich and sumptuous colours and beautiful foliage. But if you’re looking for the best autumn colour display, which plants work best in the garden? Well, here are 4 of Ladybrook Nursery’s top recommendations:

Acer palmatum sangokaku


If you’re looking for an all-round garden plant, then this is definitely one of the best Japanese maples. With pale green, deeply cut leaves that turn soft shades of yellow in autumn: it also looks fabulous in winter with new coral-red shoots glowing in the winter sunshine. Although a hardy plant, acers appreciate shaded, sheltered spots that are protected from strong winds.  

Position: lightly, dappled shade
Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained neutral to acid soil
Rate of growth: slow-growing
Flowering period: April to May
Hardiness: fully hardy

Amalanchier lamarkii


Also known as the snowy mespilus or juneberry, Amelanchier lamarkii is a large erect deciduous shrub of open habit, with bronze-tinged young leaves turning to beautiful shades of orange and red in autumn. It produces white flowers in short lax racemes as the leaves unfurl in early spring, followed by berries in June which turn dark purple/black.

Position: partial shade to full sun, though best autumn colour achieved if planted in full sun
Soil: fertile, moist, lime-free well-drained soil
Rate of growth: slow-growing, but can grow up to 8 to 12 metres in a 20 year period
Flowering period: Early spring, followed by dark purple berries in June. Dark red leaves for autumn colour
Hardiness: Fully hardy

Berberis thumbergii roseglow


Berberis thumbergii roseglow is a lovely ornamental compact hedging plant. Its young foliage, held on arching branches, is initially purple, then turns pink, cream and a silver variegation which last all summer. In autumn the foliage turns glowing red. Thumbergii roseglow has small pale yellow flowers (tinged red) in late spring and bright red berries in autumn. Will grow equally well in poor soils, but does best on sites that are not overly wet or fully shaded.

Height: 1.5 m
Foliage: purple marbled pink
Flower colour: pale yellow flowers followed by red berries
Flowering: spring
Aspect: full sun or partial shade

Rhus typhina laciniata


Rhus typhina laciniata is less invasive than other varieties of Rhus but still has the typical blazing autumn foliage. Its luxuriant finely-cut fern-like leaves form a canopy from late spring until autumn, emerging initially in spring as pale green, then turning golden-yellow to orange in autumn.  Happiest in sun or partial shade and prefers moist, but well drained, soil.  Water regularly in dry weather and remove any spring suckers to keep the plant in check.

Foliage: green turning bright orange red in autumn
Aspect: full sun

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