Autumn interest plants

Although the sunshine may be slowly fading away, autumn is definitely not a time of doom and gloom, with late flowering perennials and shrubs, beautiful eye-catching autumnal leaf colour and berries further adding to the autumn colour palette. Evergreens provide the perfect backdrop to the autumn showstoppers - Fatsia Japonica is a bold, architectural, tropical-looking shrub with glossy foliage, whilst Chamaecyparis Alumnigold is a good choice for the conical habit of a conifer.

Abelia Grandiflora has delicate, light pink, funnel-shaped flowers and Echinacea Purpurea has giant, daisy-like, rich lilac-pink blooms. Hebes such as Hebe Purple Queen and Hebe Champagne possess attractive, tightly-packed flower spikes against a backdrop of evergreen foliage. If it's berried interest you're looking for, Aucuba Rozannie is a small compact evergreen shrub with bright orange-red berries or, alternatively, common holly plants known so well for their use as intruder-proof native hedging produce deep red berries against the backdrop of spiky, glossy green leaves.

For other interesting features, consider the fiery foliage colours of heather plants such as Calluna Firefly or Calluna Wickwar Flame, the citrus-scented, golden-yellow foliage of Choisya ternata Sundance, the bold, blotchy golden variegation of Elaeagnus Gilt Edge, or the blood-red foliage of Cornus Sibirica which falls to reveal attractive, architectural scarlet young shoots. Fig plants, most apple trees and many other fruit bushes will be ready to be harvested in the autumn and late flowering climbers such as Clematis Tangutica should not be dismissed.

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