Fall Color Clippings
October 3, 2010
Happy October friends! Nature is putting on an incredible show this month, especially around my town. How about yours?
Over the weekend, I did a little gardening, plus paid a visit to my local nursery to see what’s available to plant on the porch this autumn season.
More than ever, I was inspired to bring more new perennials into our garden, even plant a new tree or two.
I just love the autumn colors on display in nature and secretly, I’m wanting some new plants in my yard so that this time of year I can bring more fresh clippings indoors to capture that fresh autumn feel.
Favorite Plantings That Guarantee Autumn Color
Japanese Maple. This slow growing ornamental tree has the most delicate leaves; ours turns a deep red during the autumn months. It grows well in containers too. We’ve had one for almost ten years in a large pot where it receives partial sun and partial shade. I love to scatter its leaves on our Thanksgiving table.
Coleus. Shades of green, burgundy, and even black in color, this ornamental perennial prefers partial shade and milder climates outdoors, and also makes a great houseplant.
Chrysanthemums. Decorative as a daisy and cute as a button, these hardy favorites come in all autumn shades. I’ll be choosing deep burgundy versions this year for my own planters.
Sunflowers. A bloom that crosses the bridge from summer to fall, these cheerful bright annuals bring the remnants of sunshine indoors, even as an autumn chill draws near.
Ginkgo Biloba. We’ve all heard of the pharmaceutical uses and the beneficial effects on memory derived from this tree, but how gorgeous are these intense yellow fan shaped leaves in autumn?
Viburnum. Definitely a favorite of mine, this perennial, which is sometimes called ‘Chinese Snowball’, grows white puffy hydrangea like blooms in spring, and provides gorgeous branches of colorful leaves in fall. It’s been three weeks and only one change of water, and these stems still look fresh on my mantel.
Hydrangea. Here’s another spring to fall perennial that I adore. These blooms arrive in pale green with a wisp of pink in spring, then weather to shades of raspberry and sage in autumn. In years past, I’ve dried their stems, then sprinkled them with metallic spray paint for a gorgeous holiday arrangement.
Grapevines. Not just for your typical wine country regions, grapevines offer fruit in summer, changing leaves in fall, and branch clippings in winter for forming wreaths.
Chinese Pistache. This deciduous and drought tolerant tree is native to China (hence the name) and is often planted along streets in suburban areas for its hardiness and also its fall foliage.
Oak. There are several species of this tree, from red to white oak, that put on a glorious show in fall. Which ones grow best where you are?
The Great Pumpkin. The quintessential fall themed squash to plant in your garden. With all the varieties available, if you have the foresight in summer to plant and the patience to let them roam across you yard, you’ll reap the rewards come October.
Your local nursery or garden center will know just what perennials and trees grow well in your hardiness zone. What’s the one plant or tree in your area or garden that gives you the best fall color?
Image sources: Better Homes & Gardens; Martha Stewart; Southern Living; Country Living; Alaska In Pictures; Costco; Mooseys Country Gardens;