“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
One of the perks of working at The Growing Place is that you can find inspiration just about anywhere. About this time of year, our gardens are full of so many colors. From the bright hues of mums to cabbages and kale (which get increasingly vibrant as the temperatures drop) to the wispy plumes of perennial grasses and, of course, the many shades of reds, oranges, and yellows on trees and shrubs. Today I took a stroll around the gardens and snapped a few pics of just a few of the colors you can find.
In our gardens in Naperville and the parking lot in Aurora, you can see brilliant Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii ‘Jeffersred’) putting on their show of brilliant red fall color. Another great maple with bright red color is the Redpointe Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr.’). This new cultivar has a fast growth rate, can tolerate pollution and is resistant to pest and diseases. It’s also more adaptable to our alkaline soil than other red maples.
For vivid yellows and oranges, the Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum ‘Bailsta’) can’t be beaten. It’s an outstanding shade tree with thick, leathery, glossy green foliage in the spring that is resistant to leaf tatter. Or go for the golden yellow of the Autumn Gold Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’). This disease resistant, durable tree is great for your landscape and has uniquely shaped leaves! (Full disclosure the ginkgo picture is from last year, we’re still waiting for it to turn yellow this year.)
In the shrub world, P.J.M. Rhododendron (Rhododendron x ‘P.J.M.’) are not just for their vivid lavender-pink flowers. They have nice fall color too! The oak-shaped leaves of Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’) also add shades of reds and oranges. In early spring the bottlebrush-like flowers of Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) are the star before the leaves show up but come fall, it’s the leaves turn to show off a striking yellow and orange-red.
In our gardens, Flame Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens') is slightly past its prime fall color but even as it dries and turns brown the plumes continue to add beauty to the fall garden. It gets its name ‘Flame Grass’ for its magnificent fiery red late season foliage display. Sedum tetractinum is an unusual low growing, spreading sedum with round, flat foliage that is an attractive green in the summer that turns a wonderful shade of reddish bronze in the fall.
Posted on 10/20/2016 at 12:58:00 PM