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Choosing plants for autumn colour
It hasn’t been a vintage year in my garden. The growing season started off well with the warm spring – good for garlic and onions – but the weather deteriorated soon after that. So, I’m actually quite relieved now that autumn is here. I can forget the disappointing summer crop and anticipate the pleasures of autumn – a great time for garden visits and choosing new trees and shrubs.
Some of the leaves are showing the first signs of autumn colour, with golden yellow developing in tree canopies. I’m looking forward to seeing more strident colours, too – the roaring reds of the liquidambars and screaming orange amelanchiers. I can’t wait to find the guelder rose thickly covered with berries and the blackthorn bearing sloes, which positively beg to be picked and drowned in gin.
September is an inspiring time to visit your local public gardens, as plants start putting on their autumn show. See what tickles your fancy then head off to your favourite nursery or garden centre. If you find and buy your plants when they’re showing their autumn colour, you’ll have the best idea of their potential.
Autumn is the ideal time to plant deciduous trees and shrubs. Warm soil and moisture promote good root-development, helping plants to settle in before harsh winter weather. A liquidambar in a large garden or an amelanchier in a smaller space will provide a fiery focal point in your autumn garden for years to come.
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