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Plants for great autumn colour in the garden

If you’re looking for seasonal interest and the best autumn colour display in your garden, then Ladybrook Nursery can highly recommend Cotoneaster watereri, Cornus alba, Euonymus alatus and Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’.  Here’s a little more information about these stunning autumn plants.

Cotoneaster watereri cornubia

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Although the Cotoneaster isn’t the most showy or glamorous evergreen shrub, it does produce arching branches with small grey/green leaves that can add height and a sense of airiness to any sort of planting scheme. Cotoneaster watereri cornubia also produces lovely small white fragrant flowers that are a favourite with bees and other pollinators, and orange/scarlet berries in winter. What sets it apart though is its stunning autumn colour which can light up any border.

Type: shrub or small tree

Height: 6m

Foliage: semi-evergreen, dark green

Flower colour: white followed by bright red berries

Flowering: May to June

Aspect: full sun

Euonymus alatus 

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Like the Cotoneaster franchetti, the Euonymus alatus is not a showy or glamorous plant. In fact throughout much of the spring and summer it remains a plain green shrub, admittedly with light foliage and horizontal branches that can give structure to any garden border. However, once the seasons start to turn the Euonymus alatus comes into its own; the eaves start to turn cerise/red and eventually turn a stunning vivid red for several weeks. If you’re looking for fiery autumn colour, then this plant is a must-have.

Type: shrub

Height: 1m

Foliage: green turning rosy-red in autumn

Flowering: green flowers followed by red-purple fruits

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’

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The Cornus alba, or variegated dogwood, is probably the best plant for anyone looking for a plant for all seasons. It will grow to around 3 metres in time, so is suitable for most gardens. The Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ produces dark red stems in winter that light up the garden on dull days, attractive small white flowers and green and white leaves and in summer, which turn deep pink in autumn.

Type: shrub

Height: 3m

Foliage: grey/green with cream margins, vivid red stems in winter

Flower colour: small creamy-white

Flowering: May to June

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’

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The Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ is a stunning hydrangea for semi-shade, producing huge, lilac-like panicles of creamy flowers that flush deep pink and green as they age. The flower heads are wonderful, even in winter when they turn papery, almost like parchment. The Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ is a superb plant for the back of a bed or border.  Best pruned hard in late winter to controls its size.

Type: shrub

Height: 2.5m

Foliage: dark green

Flower colour: large panicles of white flowers becoming pink

Flowering: July to September

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

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