Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Foliar Fireworks as a Fall Finale

Sorry it's taken us a while to get back to posting. Like most gardeners, there aren't enough hours in the summer to do everything, and it's been a busy, busy summer and autumn here at Baldwin's Nurseries. Things are quieting down now as we put away the stock for the winter and start thinking about next spring. We're still open in case you are looking for inspiration, gift ideas for family or friends, advice or one more plant to tuck in this autumn.
We've noticed some truly spectacular autumn colour this year, in many of the deciduous shrubs and trees. While Japanese maples are known for the dramatic colour display they put on each fall, they seem to be particularly fantastic this year, as well as late in dropping their leaves.
This red tipped gold leafed maple is one of ours grown from seed.
While this is an upright, green-leafed form that turns incredible shades of red, gold, pink and copper.
This beauty is the tricolour maple 'Butterfly', which is gorgeous from the the time its first leaf opens until the last leaf drops. 
It's not just the maples that have been putting on a show. The dawn redwoods, both the golden 'Ogon' and the regular green variety, turn wonder shades of copper, peach, gold before dropping their needles for another fall.
While the oak leaf hydrangea is marginally hardy for some parts of the province, if you can grow it, it's well worth nurturing a little just for the remarkable fall colour display. Even while pushing new, green leaves, the giant large leaves are richly tinged with burgundy, ruby, pink and bronze.
We are well known as being fond of ornamental grasses, many of which come into their own in autumn. The flower heads are wonderfully showy, but the foliage provides a great display as well--more subtle, perhaps, than the maples and sumacs and other brilliantly coloured showoffs, but lovely just the same.
Some of the magnolias are shimmering with buttery gold foliage. They don't all turn this rich shade, and sometimes the fall winds strip the leaves before they get a chance to change colour. Despite the winds we've all had this autumn, a clump of them have managed to dazzle visitors.
Visitors who have seen the foliage of the Cornus kousa in its luminescent fall finery are tempted to try a tree in their gardens next year. The flowers that come on in May and last for many weeks are showstoppers, but we think this end of season blaze of glory is pretty fantastic too, don't you?