The colors of Autumn

The colors of Autumn

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Autumn shades

When we design our new garden, or we want to plant new plants, we generally choose based on the climatic characteristics preferred by the various essences, or even for the cultivation needs they manifest; among the various possibilities we usually decide following inclinations that have little to do with cultivation: flowers, colors, fruits, perfumes, tactile sensations; our senses and our personal inclinations help us a lot in our choice, sometimes even in spite of common sense or excellent advice given by nurserymen.
To be able to enjoy our garden in any season, it would be good to put down various types of essences, which can delight us at different times of the year; in these weeks, with the summer just ended, and the autumn that brings us rain and gray skies, the forest gives us flaming colors and shades, to make us still enjoy the last days of shy sun, before winter.
If we want a colorful, lively and pleasant garden even in autumn we can evaluate the possibility of planting trees and shrubs whose leaves show bright colors, such as the deep and deep red of the Acer palmatum atropurpureum, or essences that take on particular colors now, before losing the leaves.
We can choose between plants of various types, with bold colors, in all shades of red, yellow and orange


Many trees display multicolored leaves in autumn, first of all we remember the maples, which have various colors, depending on the species, but always very decorative. Particularly striking are the tall maples, such as acer griseum or acer saccharinum, with orange or golden hues; acer grandidentatum, native to central-northern America, has cherry-red leaves; acer negundo 'Flamingo' has pinkish-green leaves, with particular nuances. In addition to these trees among the maples we can also find small specimens, the Japanese varieties, with dark red leaves throughout the warm season, or with green leaves, which acquire orange hues during the months of October and November, before fall.
Elms, beeches, liquidambars, some oaks, are suitable for large gardens, but reward those who own them with yellow or tawny shades.
For golden accents that last a few weeks, I recommend laying a ginkgo biloba, a majestic tree, with foliage that, in specimens of some decades, becomes like a candle, lit by bright colors. For a garden in place with cold temperatures, with an alpine flavor, why not think of a larch, which also gives the mountain forest iridescent nuances, from peach to orange.

The colors of Autumn: Shrubs

Among the most decorative shrubs for the autumn garden, a place of relief is certainly occupied by the spurned deciduous shrubs, these shrubs, of varying size, are colored in October with the color of ripe cherries, illuminating even the darkest and sadest corner of the garden ; I especially recommend the winged name and the European name, which also have berries with particular shapes, which remain on the plants throughout the winter; often their harmony is exploited even by the most expert bonsai. If instead we are traditionalists and prefer to plant more common plants we can perhaps choose particular species within well-known genera: for example, a hydrangea quercifolia, in addition to giving us the tranquility of knowing the type of plant well, it also gives us the advantage of a particular autumn color, perhaps even to surprise the neighbors. Also the viburnum plicato var. tomentosum has colored leaves, in autumn they become red-brown, quansi bronze or chocolate, or purple red. Among the creepers we remember the partenocissus, to set fire to an entire wall of the house or the surrounding wall.
Every plant, tree or shrub can give us particular suggestions, in this period of the year deciduous essences are the masters; almost to exorcise the rigors of winter, many plants are tinged with the colors of fire, in a more or less striking way: the list you have just read is undoubtedly reductive, and shows only some of the most decorative plants. Taking a walk outdoors you will surely notice how any plant that is losing its leaves is dressed in a different shade, more or less decorative depending on the species, almost anticipating the colors of spring, to console us gardeners that we will have to wait weeks before to see the flowers and fruits of the next hot season.