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Plants for Autumn Interest

  • Fabulous autumn colour!

    Foliage colour is one of the highlights of autumn, this year has been one of the best due to the long hot summer and as yet we haven't had the gales to blow the leaves off the trees...

    Whatever size garden - or patio - you have there is a tree that has beautiful autumn colour for you - from the smallest ornamental cherry to the largest oaks.

    Prunus Kojo-no-mai is a small ornamental cherry showing good colour now, it is suitable for a container on a patio and reaches approximately 2m high. In contrast, the wild cherry Prunus avium can grace a woodland clearing or parkland and reach up to 20m.

    In between, for small to medium gardens  - varieties such as Prunus Okame, Prunus Pandora, Prunus Kanzan and Prunus sargentii all have good autumn colour. Prunus Royal Burgundy has deep burgundy foliage in summer which turns bright red in autumn.

    Oaks such as the pin oak Quercus palustris, red oak Quercus rubra, and scarlet oak Quercus coccinea are stunning large trees for autumn colour.

    Many Sorbus (Rowan) trees show great autumn foliage including the yellow berried variety of Sorbus aucuparia - Joseph Rock, upright when young this is a hardy tree for a small garden.

    One of the best trees for autumn colour is Liquidambar styraciflua and its cultivars, including Liquidambar Worplesdon which shows consistently good colour. Liquidambar has a maple shape leaf and the tree is also prunable so we also supply it as a stunning espalier 2m high and 1m wide.

    Less well known is Nyssa sylvatica the Tupelo tree, a large specimen used to great effect in public gardens such as Sheffield Park here in Sussex. Parrotia persica, the Persian Ironwood is another unusual stunning large tree the leaves show an almost rainbow foliage effect in autumn.

    And of course there are many Japanese Maples - Acer palmatum varieties to choose from with a range of red, orange and yellow autumn colour.

    Enjoy the autumn colour this year and do come and visit if you are inspired to plant!

  • Crab Apples !

    Crab Apples make lovely ornamental trees...

    There are many varieties of crab apples trees, they have beautiful spring blossom and attractive autumn fruit. Some have scented flowers too. Fruit often hangs on the tree well into winter and is attractive to birds to supplement their food!

    The fruit can be used to make crab apple jelly which is a tasty alternative to pickle or jam, try M. Jelly King or M. John Downie and autumn is the time to make it!

    Varieties with pink blossom include Malus toringo Scarlet and Malus Rudolph, those with white blossom include Malus Evereste, M.Gorgeous, M. Red Sentinel, M. Jelly King and M.John Downie. The flowers are great for the bees.

    Some varieties have burgundy foliage such as Malus Toringo Scarlet which turns yellow/orange in autumn and Malus Rudolph with burgundy/green leaves and small burgundy colour fruit.

    Weeping shape varieties include Malus Sun Rival which has scented white flowers and red cherry like fruits.

    Most make small trees 4-8m ultimately, they are tolerant of clay soils, prefer a sunny site and can be pruned to shape. Crab apples are often used as pollinators in apple tree orchards.

     

  • Plants for autumn berries

    Autumn brings an array of foliage colours and also an abundance of berries including Pyracantha, Cotoneaster, the beauty berry Callicarpa Profusion and of course Ilex, or holly.

    A reliable holly for bright red berries - Ilex J C Van Tol is looking stunning at the moment.  It is one of the most reliable female fruiting forms, with glossy dark green, almost spineless leaves.

    It is tolerant of clay, some shade and can be used for hedging and topiary. It has an open habit and forms a small tree - a not so prickly holly!

    Holly J C Van Tol Ilex acquifolium J C Van Tol

     

  • Glorious October Colour

    There are many trees and shrubs to choose for autumn colour. One of the best is Liquidambar, or 'sweet gum'. The species Liquidambar styracifluar can reach 20m - ideal for a large garden and is a superb specimen tree with maple shaped leaves. The smaller variety 'Worplesdon' ultimately reaches 12m and is well suited to this climate, both trees produce yellow/pink/red or deep burgundy leaves depending on the site and season.

    Several oak species give fantastic autumn colour, Quercus coccinea (Scarlet oak), Quercus rubra (Red oak) and Quercus palustris (Pin oak) are all stately trees with rich orange red autumn foliage.

    Many ornamental cherries (Prunus species) have good autumn colour, including the wild cherry P.avium, autumn cherry P.subhirtella Autumnalis and Japanese cherries such as P. Okame.

    The dwarf cherry Prunus Kojo-no-mai - is stunning in autumn as well as spring and proves there is a cherry tree suitable for every garden - looks great in a pot on a patio too.

    A lovely tree for a small garden with spring and autumn interest is Amelanchier - the June berry. Amelanchier lamarckii or A. Canadensis (very similar) and the varieties Ballerina and Snowflakes all have white flowers in spring and orange autumn colour.

    If you are planning to plant native hedges this autumn and would like to have autumn colour consider including the Guelder Rose, Viburnum opulus. Particularly good for moist soils it is supplied as a bare-root plant from November to March.

    Enjoy the autumn - whatever the weather!

  • Early autumn colour

    It's a great time of year - early autumn brings fruit, berries and foliage colour. In the nursery at the moment, crab apples look stunning - this year we have a new variety in stock called Malus Jelly King - obviously a great choice to make crab apple jelly with!

    Acers have begun to show their autumn colour too,  both the Japanese Acer palmatums as well as the larger Acer rubrum varieties such as October Glory.

    Autumn has begun with the promise of lots more interest in the months to come.

     

  • Colourful climbers for autumn

    In late summer and early autumn there are some beautiful climbers for flower, fruit and foliage colour.

    The semi-evergreen climber Passiflora caerulea (passion flower) has wonderful exotic looking flowers but is relatively easy to grow, it is happy in clay, sandy or chalky soils and thrives in sun but will tolerate light shade. Ornamental orange fruit follows the flowers.

    Ornamental vines are quick growing deciduous climbers that thrive in a sunny site with well drained soil. Quickly covering a pergola for shade or adding interest to a wall or fence. Vitis cognetiae has large leaves with good autumn colour and Vitis Brandt has dark blue blushed fruit.

    You can also keep vines in large terracotta pots and train them up walls and pergolas on patios. Just keep them watered and fed during the growing season.

  • Beautiful Japanese Acers

    It may be a dull and wet day out there today, but we still have some cracking autumn colour - three of the best Acers for autumn colour brightening up our nursery in the rain and a brief moment of sun!

  • Fabulous autumn colour

    A selection of trees and shrubs for autumn interest...

  • Autumn just gets better

    Two trees that keep their leaves well into November (and sometimes December!) are Crataegus lavellei and Pyrus Chanticleer.

    Crataegus lavalleiToday the sun shone (briefly) on Crataegus lavellei showing off the glossy orange berries and deep green leaves.  This little known hawthorn is hardy, tolerates most soils and grows to around 7m. It makes it a perfect tree for providing privacy at this time of year.

    Pyrus Chanticleer fthPyrus Chanticleer - an ornamental pear - also keeps its leaves well into autumn and then shows autumn tints of yellow to orange/red. This tree tolerates heavy soils and windy sites - even coastal sites. In spring it is covered with creamy white flowers - a real stunner!  In stock now are trees 4m high which make quite an impact.

  • Autumn colour - Nature's Firework displays!

    Acer InabashidareThe foliage colours on trees and shrubs this autumn have been superb. Now leaves are falling, bonfires are being built and firework displays are lighting up dark evening skies.

     

    Pyracantha Loropetalum NandinaFiery red and orange berries on the Pyracantha have been brightening up the office here at English Woodlands, the smoky leaves of Loropetalum and the flame orange tints of Nandina domestica have added an explosion of colour.

    As leaves drop, do collect them to make leaf mould – this is a great soil conditioner once they have rotted down to a crumble.

    Euonymus Red CascadeBuilding a bonfire? Don’t forget to check that no hedgehogs are hiding there before you light it – rabbit or chicken wire can help keep them out until the big day.

    Enjoy this beautiful autumn season, keep safe and warm.
    We’ll be back to let you know when our Bare-root Hedging is available!

     

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