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The flowers are fading in the garden. Leaves are falling. But the autumn fruits; interesting stems and stunning foliage are taking centre stage. In fact there is always excitement to be found outside, if you care to seek it out.
Here's 8 of the best for autumn glory (in our opinion):
1: Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion': This 'beauty berry' shrub grows to an eventual height of about 2m. It rewards its grower with beautiful, dramatic violet berries in autumn. Even better, the colour (or perhaps the taste) seems to confuse the birds and they leave the berries alone until later in the year. So we get to enjoy them for longer. Callicarpa 'Profusion' also gives us lilac flowers in late summer - and its spring foliage is bronzy-coloured, with the same again in autumn. What's not to love?
2: Cotoneaster 'Cornubia' There are lots of Cotoneaster varieties, but this one is a great all-round winner, in our opinion! It is really robust and produces a copious amount of red berries which look beautiful against the semi-evergreen foliage. It eventually grows to a height of about 3m and it's easy to care for.
3:Euonymus europaeus 'Red Cascade' The native spindle tree is loved by birds, and this extra-special variety 'Red Cascade' is loved even more by humans. Why? Because it has amazing orange seeds popping out of rosy red capsules - a great colour clash that's better than any contemporary art! What's more, the autumn leaf colour is spectacular.
4: Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' This dogwood is certainly one of the best as its foliage colours nicely during autumn, then drops to reveal these stunning, fire-like stems. They are coloured from yellow, to orange, to red at the tips, just like flames! Plant them en-masse and enjoy the spectacle from a distance. They will inspire you to fill your garden with autumn and winter stem delights.
5: Prunus serrula The Tibetan cherry. Ahh, that bark. It's stunning in spring, in summer, in autumn and even more so in winter! This small to medium-sized tree is well-behaved and it looks great as a multi-stemmed shape where the limbs glow mahogany-red. They are banded with creamy notches, giving great contrast. The stems looks on fire on dull days - just what we all need!
6: Betula utilis 'Grayswood Ghost' There are so many Betula trees with light, bright, white stems, but we have chosen 'Grayswood Ghost' for its ghostly form on dark nights! It's a compact tree, growing to an ultimate height of about 8 metres with a spread of 4 metres. This Himalayan birch makes a wonderful specimen tree and it looks stunning when set against a dark backdrop.
7: Salix alba 'Britzensis' The scarlet willow, Salix alba 'Britzensis', is a vigorous tree that will reach a size of more than 12 metres when fully grown. But it responds well to pruning and can be kept smaller if you wish. This is its main delight - the new shoots are bright red, creating the common name of scarlet willow. Some people grow this Salix on a 'stool' and this is a great way to display the winter stem colour. You just need to cut it down hard in late winter/early spring so you get all those wonderful new whippy, colourful shoots.
8: Heuchera - many different varieties for an amazing colour show The reason that Heuchera are included in our top 8 autumn glory selection is because they are so amazing! The colours of Heuchera in autumn really stand out when most plants around them are fading. There's so much contrast to enjoy with bright, light fizzy greens; darkest plum and coral rusty oranges. What's more, they lose none of their appeal through all the different seasons. Heuchera look just as good in autumn, winter, spring and summer. Plant en-masse for greatest effect. then just stand back and enjoy the spectacle.