Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Take advantage of fall color in the garden

While the fall may mean that there is slightly less planting to do around the garden for green-fingered enthusiasts, that does not leave nothing to do at the colder time of the year.

The season is not without charms of its own – and professional garden and landscape designer Dan Pearson has claimed that now is a great time to take advantage of the lush colors that can be seen.

In an article for UK national newspaper the Guardian, he noted that the coloring of plants in the US is so resplendent that it can actually be seen from a satellite.

He added that this is particularly the case for those areas that have had to deal with a miserable and unseasonably wet summer. This kind of weather in the previous season can directly lead to a gorgeous fall.

Indeed, this season can be particularly beautiful, with heavy dew marking the tracks of early rising animals. A sharp start to the morning combining with the sun means that people will be able to see a ramping of color that will encourage people to look beyond the confines of their own garden.

There is also plenty of other work to be getting on with when it comes to lawn maintenance. Writing in an article for the Daily Telegraph, gardening expert and author of the allotment book One Man and His Plot Michael Leapman emphasised that taking good care of grass should be right at the top of the to-do list for gardening enthusiasts.

This is because it grows much more slowly than usual in the fall. While less frequent mowing is required as a result, the blades need to be raised much higher than they were in the summer.

Mr Pearson said that one of his favorite tasks to be getting on with at this time of year is coming up with combinations of shrubs and trees that can put an autumn flush into his garden.

He explained that he wanted his own green space to deliver as full an experience as possible – and to that end giving it a form that will color dramatically. Many of the best plants for this tend to remain green throughout the summer. Copper-leaved forms such as the Bloodgood can be dramatic in the hotter season, but they are nothing next to the spectacle offered by the Ozakazuki.

Those who are growing on damp ground who wish to add a bit of fall color to their garden could consider the Nyssa sinensis. Mr Pearson recommended this in particular, as it is tough to beat in terms of its luminosity.

In terms of plants from the US, he said that the Liquidambar is possibly the most persistent of all fall-coloring trees.

“Deep red, crimson and purple all at once and for six to eight weeks in a season, it is one of the longest colouring of all autumnal trees,” the expert explained, adding: “The spindle bush is a native with candy-pink fruit rupturing to reveal bright orange seed.”

“I have become increasingly fond of Euonymus alatus – the winged spindle,” Mr Pearson continued. “This is a neat shrub with a clear sense of organisation in its dome of branches.

“These radiate up and out from the base and each is encrusted with an extraordinary armour of bark that becomes increasingly winged as the limbs age. In winter the foliage colours vermillion and crimson. They are happy in a large pot, too, if you need to scale a spectacle into a smaller garden – for no garden should be without a flash of drama before the winter kicks in.”