In the craziness of Spring and Summer our thoughts when visiting the local nurseries are focused on the beautiful colour. We walk in, being greeted with drifts of bountiful floral displays, rows of new starts promising immediate flowers in weeks and impulse treasures waiting for purchase. It's hard not to be mesmerized by all the perennials and annuals in full bloom ready to be added to our gardens for instant gratification. I love going to nurseries at this time of year and relish in all the excitement, really enjoying all the sights and sounds. In all this hustle and bustle though, it easy to forget about what's going to be of interest when all the flowers are gone. What's going to add that little something special towards the Autumn months. Sure there are some fall bloomers like Japanese Anemones, reblooming Bearded Iris, Phygelius, and others. But what is going to add that punch to our often tired retiring borders?
This is where Autumn shrubs come in to play. Few of us would even consider a Euonymus alatus (Burning bush) in Spring unless we saw what it colours up to in Fall. And what about Fothergillia? It's a attractive shrubs that has pretty little honey scented flowers. A very nice plant, but when Fall comes around. Wow! The leaves come on fire. This list of the Autumn treasures can go on and on.
I often feel that Fall shrubs come in more colour combination then trees. I look around in my own yard and that of the neighborhood and see so much variety. Maybe it's because the shrubs are more at eye level. But in any case, you can really find a leaf colour in every shade of an Autumn sunset.
The colour variations can be incredible. Even on one plant. Take the Rose Glow Barberry pictures above. At it's peak in natures transformation it has leaves in lemon yellows and pumpkin oranges, peaches and apricots, melons and apples reds. Nature deliciously paints in the most amazing colours.
So next time you are at your local nurseries or garden centers in Spring and Summer, after you have selected some annuals and perennials. Remember that some of those basic, plain Jane, green foliage shrubs, looking rather drab and ordinary, often turn into brilliant stars in Autumn.