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Shrubs for Autumn Color

Glory bower (Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii) is a showy shrub with large, dark green leaves. It bears scented, starry white flowers that appear from pink-flushed sepals during late summer to autumn, developing into jewel-like, turquoise berries sitting on calyces that resemble shocking pink cushion. Pruning this shrub is not usually required. Plant them in a sheltered spot, in full sun.

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Smoke bush (Cotinus Flame) is a large shrub with beautiful autumn foliage that turns from light green to brilliant red and orange. To keep it in shape just prune out unwanted branches after flowering. Plant them in moist, well-drained but not too fertile soil, in a place with full sun or partial shade.

Winged spindle (Euonymus alatus) is a medium-sized shrub that produces reliable autumn color, when the dark green foliage turns crimson-pink and the bright pink or orange fruits appear. Plant them in moist, well-drained soil in a place with full sun or partial shade.

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Fothergilla (Fothergilla major) is an attractive shrub for autumn color. During autumn its bold leaves pass through a kaleidoscope of orange, yellow and red colors before they fall. Grow them in a moist, woodland-type acid soil, enriched with organic matter. Keep its size down by gentle pruning after flowering.

Ozark witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis Sandra) is a delightful shrub with magnificent foliage. When the leaves emerge in spring they are flushed with purple, than mature to green with purple undersides until the autumn, when they turn incredible colors of rich red, orange and yellow. Grow them in a neutral to acid soil, in full sun or partial shade.

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Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata Pink Diamond) is a vigorous shrub with glossy, dark-green leaves. From late summer into autumn it bears conical panicles of creamy-white flowers, which become deep-pink with age. For quality flowerheads you need to apply a drastic pruning in early spring, reducing last year’s stems to within two or three buds of the previous season’s wood. Plant them in a sheltered spot on moist but well-drained soil, enriched with organic matter.

Geranium Rose (Rosa Geranium moyesii hybrid) is a shrubby rose with arching branches that produces elegant, flask-shaped, crimson-orange hips in autumn. Plant them in moist soil that has been enriched with organic matter and mulch in late winter. Place them in a place with full sun.

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Bladdernut (Staphylea pinnata) is a shrub with a long season of interest, starting in late spring with hanging clusters of scented white flowers tinged with pink. These develop into curious, green, bladder-like pods that hang like cocoons from the branches and turn a lovely silvery color by autumn. Renovate untidy plants by a hard pruning in winter. Keep it moist during the summer.

Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) is a beautiful shrub with white flowers from spring to summer, followed by an autumnal display of opulent, shiny red fruits. The foliage turns from dark green to orange and red during the autumn. Plant them in a moist soil and in a place with full sun or partial shade. For yellow fruits choose the variety Xanthocarpum. For small garden you can use the variety Compactum.

staphylea-pinnata image viburnum-opulus image

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Shrubs for Spring Color

We all wait spring, the season that start to bring color in our gardens, so it makes sense to plant for an early show of color and perfume. Place shrubs for spring interest at intervals around your garden, underplanted with groups of bulbs and spring-flowering herbaceous perennials.

In the next lines you will find some examples of shrubs that you could plant in your garden for spring color and interest. Many of them are well known and used for a long time in our garden scheme.

Stachyurus (Stachyurus praecox) is a deciduous shrub native from Japan. Its reddish-brown branches are strung with hanging racemes of small, greenish-yellow, bell-shaped flowers, like exotic catkins, in late winter to early spring. It prefers an acid, humus-rich soil, enriched with leafmould or well-rotted compost before planting.

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