Fall is the best time to choose plants for their brilliant autumn foliage-as well as planting trees, shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses. Sun-loving Japanese Maples steal the show in fall as their changing of colors range from apple green to dark crimson. There are many varieties to choose from and now is an excellent time to view them to see which you like best. As in some landscaping, their beauty stands alone, but we feel there are several noteworthy companions to add a range of depth.
A distinctive and rare dwarf evergreen conifer, Pinus contorta var. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’, is prized for its stunning winter color. ‘Chief Joseph’ is an accent in Fall’s landscape, as its showy deep green spring and summer needles mature to yellow-green in late summer, and by early winter the foliage turns brilliant gold.
Include layers of foliage in your fall landscape with flowers and berries to create a stunning under drop, starting with Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerester’ feather reed grass. Versatile and reliable, they grow in a narrow, upright form and turn a golden tan color that lasts through the fall. At only 18 inches wide and up to 5 feet tall, a grouping creates a dramatic vertical element in gardens.
One of our favorite low-growing evergreen shrubs is Leucothoe, with its spreading, arching branches drooping from the weight of the pendulous fragrant clusters of creamy white flowers. The leaves are leathery and dark green, varying in length from three to six inches long. They often take on a bronzy to purplish color in fall and winter.
Hypericum, also known a St. John’s Wort, is a perennial shrub. It produces cheerful yellow flowers (often used in floral arrangements), and then an abundance of berries in fall which turn from cherry red to black. Deer and bunny resistant, too!