One of the joys of autumn in Christchurch is watching the many deciduous trees around our city head towards winter dormancy with a stunning display of autumn foliage. The leaf colours can be quite remarkable and range through from intense reds through to bright yellows.
If you would like to see some of that autumn colour in your garden, now is also a great time to plant new trees in your garden. To get good autumn colour you would want to look at the following trees before you make a final choice. Liquidambar (Sweet Gum) , Acers (Maples), Gingko and Prunus (Flowering Cherry) are well known autumn stars, but may get too big for your property. If space is confined a Cornus (Dogwood), Cersis (Judas Tree) or Amelanchier (Shad bush) may be more suited as they will not grow as big. Its key that your tree selection not only suits your personal preference, but it also must suit your site and the space where the tree will go. All too often trees are selected and planted that will get too big, and require premature removal or continual pruning which can ruin the natural growing habit and final form of the tree.
Another great option for autumn colour is in your shrub plantings. Cotinus (smoke bush), Viburnums, and the ‘Oak leaf’ hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) will give you some great autumn colour punch. If you have a bare fence or wall, you’re in luck. The self clinging Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) will cover your fence quickly and have one of the best autumn displays of any planting. As its green leaves turn intense red, you get a lovely patchwork effect of green and red before it finally turns completely. The added bonus is you’ll also get a trendy vertical ‘Green Wall’ throughout summer.
As the deciduous plantings in your garden drop leaf and lay dormant for winter it’s also a great chance to assess the bones of your garden, and see where it might need some fresh plantings to flesh things out for the coming spring