Has your garden shut up shop this autumn?


With winter almost on our doorstep, it is a good time to cast a critical eye over your autumn garden and judge if you are making the most of the stunning colours of autumn. This final blaze of colour is a joy to the eye and spirit and with a little careful thought easy to add to your garden.  I include some of my favourites, and the tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum (below) is one I want to put in my garden – a graceful tree which gives a blaze of autumn colour and the distinctive smell of burnt sugar. This tree can also be used as a focal point in a garden.

Cercidphyllum jacponicum with autumn colour

Tree: Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Image thanks to Bluebell Nursery






autumn colour in the garden

Cercidiphyllum japonicum in a garden. Polley Garden Design Grouping trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants together that flower or come into colour at the same time of year creates beautiful seasonal splashes of colour, for example Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Sandra’ (height and spread 1.2m) with burgundy colouring on the leaves and hardy Fuchsia Mrs Popple (height and spread 1m) and Acer palmatum Dissectum Garnet are a good combination.

hardy fuchsia

Fuchsia Mrs Popple. Image thanks to Scotplantsdirect.


Hydrangea mac. ‘Sandra’





Acer Garnet

Acer palmatum Dissectum Garnet – autumn colour. Image thanks to Ornamental Tree Nurseries.






Other choices might be Euonymous alatus (height 3m, spread 2m) but if your garden is smaller go for Euonymous alatus ‘Compactus’ (height and spread 1m).  I have several planted together in my garden to create some autumn fireworks.

autumn colour by Polley Garden Design

Euonymous alatus colour. Polley Garden Design

For a last hurrah – grow Knipfofia roopii which flowers in my garden late September onwards up to the first good frost.  Plant where you can see it grow.  I can see it from my kitchen window and watch as inch by inch the stems suddenly appear and almost seem to grow taller in front of you. I grow it with the ornamental grass Stipa gigantea.  Celebrate autumn in your garden.

Kniphofia rooperi.

Kniphofia rooperi grown with Stipa gigantea. Polley Garden Design











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