Autumn Garden Favourites
Now that the summer months are behind us and we’re bursting into autumn, we asked our Horticulture Manager – Keith Hunter, to pick out a few of his favourite autumn garden performers.
Watch this space for more autumnal updates….
Hydrangea quercifolia produces very long white flowers from late spring into early summer, personally the main attraction of this shrub is it spectacular foliage.
Widely known as the oak leaf Hydrangea, the foliage is big and bold and turns deep red during the autumn months. Avoid the temptation to remove any spent flower heads too soon, the pure white flowers can take on a light pink tinge, and as the flowers degrade further they become almost paper like in texture and brown in colour.
This Hydrangea may grow up to 2 meters in height, but can be easily pruned to maintain an attractive and balanced shape. Any pruning should be carried out in late winter – removing all dead, diseased and damaged growth. This is also the perfect time to remove those faded flower heads from the previous season…..if you haven’t already.
This herbaceous perennial often known as either the wind flower or Japanese Anemone, blooms through out the autumn months and is ideal for any shady or woodland themed garden. Flowers are produced from late February onwards and stand at just under a metre tall. During the winter months the plant shuts down and becomes dormant, this is an ideal time for some garden maintenance to prune away all of the previous seasons growth.
Their are many cultivars available, which vary in flower form and colour – from the elegant white through to dark pink. Anemones are an excellent companion when planted with Japanese maples, Camellia sasanqua and shade loving ferns.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
This perennial has been in bud and looking great for the past three weeks, it’s now in full flower and looking spectacular. Adding a great splash of pink to this garden design, it’s first on the list for any mixed planting combination. This Sedum can become quite leggy and top heavy. We prune our specimens back by a third in early December. This promotes bushier and compact growth, preventing the plants from splaying open when in flower.
An evergreen shrub often known at native lasiandra which produces light purple flowers throughout the autumn months, and should be considered as an alternative to the popular Tibouchina, which is widely notable across Sydney at this time of year. Although Melastoma doesn’t grow as big or as densely as it’s the South American counterpart, it’s still a great late flowering shrub to consider for any garden design. Removal of all old wood in late August will encourage the plant to burst back into life and set bud for an impressive autumnal display.
This evergreen ornamental grass adds so much value to a garden bed. It’s height and graceful movement make it an excellent addition to a mixed border, looking equally effective planted en masse in large drifts or as individual accent plants. From early autumn it produces stunning airy plumes that glow when lit up by the early morning sun. Regular lifting and dividing will keep the over all size of the plant in check and keep the plant growing vigoursly.