Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Latest Colors

I am not talking about what's new in home decor or the newest fashion trend but plants we can count on to give us color late into the fall and winter seasons.

I am noticing more each year those plants that keep their leaves the longest and those that keep colorful leaves throughout the winter.

Chanticleer Pear
Always the last of trees to lose its leaves but this year the colors were beautiful.  It usually has a darker purple/red leaf in the fall, this year every color imaginable!
 
This is the Red Maple across the street, notice all of the other trees are bare, what a treat!
 
I have had many shrubs throughout the years that do nothing most of the seasons, some didn't even flower just producing green leaves, like Alpine Currant.  I am sure they have a purpose but no longer in my garden.  My new rule is a shrub that I plant has to have at least three seasons of interest, don't have enough room for those one season plants.
 
Ninebark Summer Wine
This is like the shrub of the year, many leaf color changes throughout the seasons, flowers in June, and has exfoliating bark in the winter.  Who could ask for more?
 
Weigela Wine and Roses
This Weigela has the darkest leaves with no brown tones, still holding on in the middle of November.  I have Weigela Dark Horse also, in the front, and the leaves turn a lighter brown color which is not as attractive as this deep purple/green.

 Tor Spirea
This might become a new favorite shrub, just put in this fall so I am hoping there will be more leaves left on next fall.  The colors are great and this is a smaller shrub with very little maintenance, blooms in the spring with blue/green leaves all summer.
 
Forsythia Greenstem
Okay, I have already given in.  This is really only a two season shrub, beautiful lemon colored flowers in the spring and yellow/green leaves in the fall.  However, the color is so unusual for Forsythia that I had to have it, smaller also and looks great in a formal or casual border.
 
Hydrangea Let's Dance Starlight
Very few Hydrangeas have wonderful leaf color in the fall, this one does and the leaves hold on until a hard frost.
 
Miscanthus Udine
I have many grasses that I leave up for the winter but this is one that I agonize over each fall because it is so beautiful.  Should I cut it down or leave it?  The past two years I have left it and may do so again.  Miscanthus is notorious for flopping to the ground in heavy snow.
 
Many of the perennials we choose die down during the winter, but there are many that keep their color throughout the winter especially if snow is sparse.
 
Sedum Angelina
This is a groundcover that hugs the ground and stays green or yellow during the winter.
 
Heucherella Sweet Tea
This is one of the best, keeping its rich color throughout the winter.  I have many Heucherellas but Sweet Tea looks the best in the fall.
 
With the new strains of Villosa Heucheras they are becoming more important in the four season garden.  Many retain their leaf color throughout all four seasons, definitely worth looking for in the nurseries.
 
Heuchera Autumn Leaves
 
Heuchera Southern Comfort
Darker when planted in shadier area.
 
Heuchera Peach Flambe
 
Heuchera Pinot Gris
 
Geranium Max Frei
I was just about ready to pull this one, never remember it looking this good in the fall.  However, it is a one time bloomer and I have some ideas what to plant in between to give it some summer interest.
 
Geranium Magnificum is late this year, just beginning to turn color.
 
Geranium Bob's Blunder
I am so impressed with this geranium, great groundcover and hope it comes back next spring!
 
We fall in love with a plant and it is sometimes difficult to think about how this plant behaves or looks throughout the seasons. 
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14 comments:

Leslie's Garden said...

Wonderful post! I'm going to bookmark it so I can refer to it when I'm shrub shopping! You have some wonderful choices!

Beth said...

Hi Eileen, Love your heucheras! I noticed my geraniums (well, some of them, anyway) have some red leaf color this fall too. I hadn't noticed it before. Love your nine bark too. The Chanticleer pear and your neighbor's maple tree have lovely leaves. My Japanese maple lost its leaves this wknd with the rain and wind; the only tree with leaves in my yard now is my cherry tree. I enjoyed your post, Eileen. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

scottweberpdx said...

Absolutely wonderful post...and I totally agree about plants that have more than one season of interest. It's always interesting to see how different the colors are from year to year.

Lona said...

What brilliant colors Eileen. I had thought all the leaves were gone here but Mom and i saw a maple in town today that was still full of leaves and gorgeous. The leaves were so pretty this year with us getting rains just at the right time. I am with you about loving Heuchera for their great foliage all year long.Even when they are weighted down with snow you know those colors are just waiting to come out again when the snow melts from them. Have a lovely week!

Zoey said...

Hi Eileen,

I like your three seasons of interest rule.

I really enjoyed all the color changes with my two ninebarks this year.

I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving next week.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Leslie. I am continuing to experiment with good shrubs and plants for the heat as I don't think we will be seeing a return to cooler summers.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Beth,

I am always surprised that many of the Heucheras and Heucherellas love the heat.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Scott,

I am continuing to try different grasses and plants that can take the heat and drought.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona,

I am always sad when the colors are gone and winter is upon us. However, I am using more and more structures and grasses that stay up all winter.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

You shook me into reality as I was thinking I had another week for Thanksgiving. Thankfully, I am not having it this year!

Eileen

Jenny Short said...

These are beautiful. I think you have better fall colors up north. xo Jenny

Jennifer said...

Hi Eileen, I agree that if you only have a suburban plot, as so many of us do, you do want every plant to put on a show for as many seasons as possible. When I scrolled down to your hydrangea, I reminded how pleasantly surprised I was by the show one of my newer hydrangeas put on this year. I hadn't considered hydrangeas as a vehicle for fall color before. I do not have the spirea you featured- will have to watch out for one next spring.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Eileen girl we do share a lot of plants and thoughts about them too! I do love the Ninebarks .. I went through a bad patch of powdery mildew with them but I will think about starting up with them again next year .. they are worth the effort!
Ah YES ! the heuchera ! you know I am a fan of them and keep collecting them .. lots have held their colour still here even with the hard frosts. They are amazing .. yes Max Frie, I have 2 of them .. beautiful colours in Autumn from their foliage .. I haven't heard of Bob's Blunder ? I have to look that up now ! thanks girl : )
Joy

mrbrownthumb said...

Your heuchera 'Sweet Tea' is spectacular. I'm going to have to look out for that one. I love the colors.