Do you love autumn color and texture? You don’t have to go to the Ozarks to get it. You can have it in your own yard — just shop at In the Garden. We have trees, shrubs, native plants, and ornamental grasses that can really pack a punch this time of year.
Among our favorites:
Add color by choosing plants like bush honeysuckle, available to gardeners in two species of bush honeysuckle. They’re easy to grow that can adapt to many soil types, tolerate drought and offer a brilliant yellow/lime green foliage and a deep purplish foliage.
Or, choose ninebark — a deep burgundy native shrub with no thorns, so it’s a good replacement for barberry.
Burning bush also provides a great burst of color and are easy to care for; they will grow in just about any soil and any condition.
On the texture side, add a kind of little bluestem called ‘Blue Paradise.” It’s a native grass that loves sun and doesn’t need water during the dry season, but can handle some wetness. Its stems are deep purple and it provides some neat texture.
Also consider adding a maiden grass called ‘Oktoberfest.’ It has great plumes, and its color ranges from deep red to purple. Other grasses we carry include switchgrass and pampas grass, both of which add color and texture.
Last, but certainly not least in a landscape, are trees. One of the most showy? Definitely ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple.
Or, if you’re looking for a maple with none of those seed pods — we called them whirligigs — that can accumulate and need to be raked, look no further than a ‘Firefall.’ It turns a brilliant red and is seedless!
Wildfire black gum trees turn a deep red but have no fruit, for those who might be planting near a sidewalk or patio and don’t want the mess.
Sugar maples offer you variety in color: they start yellow, transition to orange, then wind up the season with a pop of red. We also carry northern red oak, which adds variety to your landscape because it changes color later than others.
Consider adding a touch of yellow to your yard with a ginko.
So how does leaf color work, anyway?
Trees contain cells that create food, and those cells use chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color. But there also are hidden colors in the leaves, colors called carotenoids. Those are the same pigments that make carrots orange and daffodils yellow.
This time of year, shorter days and cooler nights means trees have less energy for making food, so the chlorophyll begins to break down. The green colors disappear, and the carotenoids are on full display.
Reds and purples show up when sugars — made during warm days, then trapped in the leaves during cool nights — change chemically into anthocyanins. More sunshine = more red. Cloud cover and warmer nights = less red.
Stop by In the Garden today and let us help you make the perfect choice for injecting some color and texture into your landscape!
— In the Garden