Top 5 Shrubs for Autumn Colour

October 14th 2014 in In The Garden

It's not just trees that offer great Autumnal colours in a garden.There is a large range of shrubs that give great seasonal interest too, with many producing berries.

Buying shrubs can be a tricky business given the great range available at most nurseries, and care must be taken to find the right plant for you. You don't want to buy a shrub that will get too big for your space, which then requires serious pruning to keep it to size. Invariably this detracts from the effect you most wanted when you bought the plant in the first instance.

There are no hard and fast rules but as a guide you should always consider the following; Size; Evergreen or deciduous; Berries or fruit; Foliage size and texture; Foliage colour; Aspect within your garden; How it will look with existing plantings. A lot to think about I know but any good nursery will happily give advice. And this time of year is perfect for planting shrubs.

However, my personal top five shrubs for Autumn colour in a small garden would have to be;

Viburnum opulus 'Xanthocarpum' (Guelder Rose) - A really good variant of this British native whose leaves turn a fabulous red in Autumn, and produces a mass of bright yellow berries.

Rosa elegantula 'Persetosa' - not everyone immediately thinks of Roses as being good plants in autumn but many like this one offer good changing foliage as well as hips. The fern-like foliage in this species turns shades of purple and red, alongside bright orange red berries.

Berberis x carminea 'Pirate King' - interestingly named plant with good leaf colour and possitively 'drips' with bright red berries.

Euonymus alatus 'Compactus' - a dwarf shrub from a really diverse group of plants. Suitable for most growing conditions and bright scarlet foliage that lasts well into Autumn.

Azalea 'Knaphill Hybrids' - this is a huge group of deciduous hybrid Azaleas producing a pallette of yellows, oranges and reds at this time of year. 'Anneke' and 'Hotspur Red' are two that stand out for me.