Bright Fall Color From...Shrubs!

I recently visited Wiegand’s Nursery in Macomb, Michigan, and walked around their display garden. This is a wonderful place to view plants at their mature size, in a beautiful garden setting. At this time of year, even trees and shrubs are showing their vibrant fall colors, and looking at these gorgeous plants gives me ideas for designs with fall interest in mind.

Featured here is a mature sumac, the taller plant in the background just starting to turn its brilliant red. At its feet are  azalea, in a complimentary fall burgundy. The contrast of textures of the leaves of the azalea and the coarseness the sumac brings added interest to the bed

Here, red leaf barberry stands straight and clipped with backdrop of a bright white building, really making the color stand out. Even though I usually like a more natural shape on a plant, I really like the contrast of the  shape of the barberry and the pine at its feet. This barberry (‘Helmond Pillar’)stays narrow and loves being in the sun.It does lose its leaves in the winter but provides a great contrast of red against green when in leaf.

A hedge of Ilex verticillata was nearby with a beautiful display of brilliant red berries peeking out from the chartreuse foliage. This is a wet-loving holly  that can get 10' X 10’ so you have to site it accordingly.  Like other hollies, the female plant has the berries so you need a male to cross pollinate. However, unlike other hollies, this variety loses its leaves in winter, but the females are covered in the bright berries throughout the winter. I have seen this growing in wetlands and what a sight to behold in the winter with that bright red flashing amongst the browns and grays of other plants.

This is the time of year to get out and explore nurseries, public gardens, or neighborhoods to enjoy the view as well as find something you like to make your fall display sing. Fall is full of color…you just need to find it.