As we move through the Autumn garden in Australia, exotic deciduous plants native to cooler climates are changing their leaf colour in preparation for leaf drop and dormancy over Winter.  This provides wonderful Autumn foliage colour and there are many choices of plants to incorporate into your landscape design with vibrant leaf colours of yellow through orange, red and bronze.

Plant Selection.

For Cool Melbourne Climate Zone and Temperate Climate Zone, Maple varieties such as (Acer palmatum) ‘Atropurpureum’ and ‘Elegans’ suit small protected gardens, on well-drained soil and produce crimson foliage in Autumn.    (Acer platanoides) ‘Crimson Sentry’ is a small tree producing dark purple to golden brown autumn leaves.  Growing in a columnar shape, it is a tough tree that makes a striking focal point, reaching just 7m in height and 4m in width.   Ornamental Pear, (Pyrus calleryana) varieties are hardy and easy to grow garden trees, tolerant of drought and intermittently wet clay soils,  producing beautiful autumn colour.   ‘Westwood’ Korean Sun for small to medium gardens, growing to 4m high and 5m wide, with buds bursting to profuse white flowers in Spring, then glossy green leaves turning to red and orange in Autumn.  Larger varieties for large gardens are available too.

For the Subtropics, Tropical Birch (Betula nigra), grows to 8m, and produces summer shade, buttery yellow Autumn colour and interesting bark after leaf drop.   Liquid Amber (Liquidambar styraciflua), popular for large landscapes, growing to 21m high and 10m wide providing wonderful Autumn foliage colour over many months.  Liquid Amber has great branch structure which makes it a wonderful climbing tree for the children along with a shady place to play.  Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) Indian Summer varieties are small trees/shrubs, gorgeous all year round with profuse flowers in a range of colours.  Stunning Autumn foliage colour and smooth interesting bark after leaf drop makes Crepe Myrtle perfect for north facing walls or entertainment areas, allowing Winter sun through.  Don’t overlook the gorgeous Diamonds In The Dark range offering a burgundy foliage with contrasting flower colours.

With so many species to choose from, adding interest to your garden design is easy, choosing only one is the hardest part.


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