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7 recommended plants for late autumn/ early winter garden colour

Is it possible to have colour in the garden all year round? The answer is yes, although on the face of it this might seem like an impossible task. Never the less, it is possible to produce all-year-round colour in the garden, as long as you choose the right plants for the right situation. In the spring and summer the task is pretty simple, given the abundance of plants and flowers on offer. In the autumn and early winter period, however, the job of bringing colour and vibrancy to the garden is more difficult to accomplish. However, Ladybrook Nursery thinks with the following 7 recommended garden plants will do just that.

Verbena Bonariensis ‘Lollipop’

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Verbena bonariensis is one of the best cottage garden plants and looks great in herbaceous borders. It is a superb plant in for giving grace, height and airiness to the border. Lollipop has all the traditional qualities of verbena bonariensis, but is lower growing and therefore ideally placed at the front of borders

Height: 60cm

Foliage: dark green

Flower colour: purple/dark lilac

Flowering: summer to early autumn

Aspect : full sun

Ginkgo Biloba

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The Maidenhair tree has been described as a ‘living fossil’ because it is the sole survivor of an ancient group of trees older than the dinosaurs. The characteristic greenish-yellow leaves are fan-shaped and composed of two or more distinct lobes. In autumn the leaves of Ginkgo biloba turn a beautiful golden hue before falling to the ground.

Type: tree

Height: 12m – 20m

Foliage: green 2-lobed leaves turning yellow in autumn

Aspect: full sun

Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

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Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ is a large deciduous shrub or small, often multi-stemmed, tree. Leaves grow up to 12cm in width, broadly heart-shaped, deep red-purple turning shades of orange, bronze and red-purple in autumn. Small, bright-pink flowers appear in clusters on bare stems before the leaves in spring. Grown mainly for striking foliage effects

Type: small tree/large shrub

Height: 10m

Foliage: bronze heart-shaped leaves turning yellow in autumn

Flower colour: crimson to pink purple clusters

Flowering: spring

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

Rhus typhina laciniata

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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.

Height:5m

Foliage: green turning bright orange red in autumn

Aspect: full sun

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

Euonymus alatus 

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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

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