As the cold of winter approaches, here are some plants that keep flowering or hold on to their burnished foliage into the end of autumn:
Fuchsia ‘Riccartonii’ continues to send out blooms on the tips of new growth. It has larger flowers than other types of Fuchsia’s, and is sturdy with an upright habit. It likes a little shade but will handle full sun. It is often used as hedging. Fuchsia’s need to be cut back hard in the spring.
Calamagrostis brachytricha ‘Mona’
Calamagrostis brachytricha ‘Mona,’ or Korean feather reed grass is a pretty grass with tinted flower heads in late August and September. They create a soft haze when planted in a mixed border or meadow. The seed heads pale and offer a beautiful silhouette during these changeable days of late autumn. Grasses should be planted in the spring and cut down to ground level in the winter.
Ginkgo biloba, the Maidenhair tree
Ginkgo biloba is one of my favourite trees. Native to China it dates back 270 million years. It has been cultivated since early human history and is also a source of food. It’s wonderful in a garden, especially in the autumn when the leaves turn bright yellow and drop a couple of weeks later. Due to its long history Ginkgo are resistant to disease, and are drought and pollution tolerant. There are many slow growing forms available for small gardens. The female trees produce golden fruits which have an unpleasant smell, but that’s not much to ask given their beauty and power.
Nyssa sinensis, or the Chinese tupelo is a handsome deciduous tree which originates in China and Vietnam. It will grow to more than 10m if given space. During October and November the leaves turn bright orange and red. It prefers full sun but will handle light shade. It likes to be planted in soil that doesn’t get too dry. This tree has a beautiful shape and is a real joy.