Monday, November 28, 2011

Seeing Red!

The long cool, not cold, fall really gave way to some brilliant colors. Most are now gone due to wind and rain but I took a few photos of some of the best. These are all plants that we will have for sale at the nursery next spring and I have included a variety of Viburnum dilatatum called 'Cardinal Candy' that we are growing. Be sure to make note of your favorites so you can extend your season of color next year.

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Dwarf Plumbago is a fast growing, deciduous ground cover that will adapt to full sun, part sun or full shade. It grows to a height of 10 inches and can spread by underground runners to at least 2 feet wide. Its bronzy green leaves set off the intense, half inch blue flowers that appear in July and last until first frost. As you can see this perennial has gorgeous red fall color. It is cold hardy to 20 below and depending on the location is a low to moderate water user.

Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Karmina"
This true geranium is a nearly evergreen perennial groundcover that grows to 8-10 inches high but spreads by underground rhizomes to 2-3 feet wide.The late spring/early summer 1-2 inch flowers are lavender pink and are borne on stems above the foliage. It is hardy to 20 below zero and would be happy planted where it gets at least some afternoon shade. The red fall and winter foliage is an added bonus to this deer resistant plant.

Euonymus alata 'Compacta
A moderate growing deciduous shrub whose claim to fame is its brilliant red autumn color is Dwarf Burning Bush. It will reach a mature height and width of 4-6 feet. Its leaves are dark green and the branches have corky wings. Cold hardy to 30 below zero it makes a good informal hedge or accent plant.

Nandina domestica
Heavenly Bamboo is not a true bamboo at all but is given that common name due to the canelike stems and lacy foliage. This evergreen shrub is a moderate grower and will reach 4-6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It has red berries in the fall and colored foliage that lasts through winter. Hardy to 10 below it is a low water plant that will adapt to full sun or full shade but colors better in the sun. It makes a good screen or specimen.

Rosa rugosa
The Rugosa Rose comes in several cultivars. All are cold, wind and drought tolerant and resistant to insects and diseases. The flowers are very fragrant and it produces large hips. This deciduous rose will grow to 6 feet tall and wide and turns a lovely golden in the fall. It is striking paired with the Dwarf Burning Bush. Because of the prickly stems it makes a impenetrable barrier.

Viburnum dilitatum 'Cardinal Candy'
This relative of the Snowball Bush is one of the Proven Winners shrubs that we are growing this year. The scarlet red fall and winter berries of this Viburnum are a wild bird favorite. It will grow at a moderate rate to a 4-5 foot rounded shrub. Lacy, white, 5 inch clusters of small flowers appear in early summer. The 2-3 inch leaves are grayish green with a dusky underside. This is a very cold hardy plant that grows in full sun or part shade and can be planted as a specimen or in mass as a hedge or border.

Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford'
The Bradford Flowering Pear is one of my favorite trees for its year round interest. Showy white spring flowers followed by glossy, dark green, roundish leaves and spectacular gold, orange, purple and red fall color. In winter its rounded crown is still appealing and makes a great perch for birds. This deciduous tree is a moderate to fast grower up to 35 feet high by 25 feet wide, and a moderate water user.  It is cold hardy to minus 20 and can be planted as an accent or for shade. It produces no edible fruit.

This is a short list of the best plants for our area that will provide you with an autumn full of vibrant colors!

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