Few people would argue that fall is the most beautiful time of year in many parts of the United States. If your front or backyard isn't part of that distinction, though, there's still hope! Let's discuss some of the best plantings you can make to turn your drab lawn into an awesome autumn array.
You may be more familiar with the herb (ginkgo biloba) than the tree, but gingko trees provide spectacular golden fall color. Their fan-shaped leaves light up with a brilliant yellow that will turn the heads of anyone who's driving by your property.
I say "property" because if you're going to plant ginkgos, you're going to need a large space for them. This gorgeous specimen puts out some pretty aggressive surface roots and numerous suckers that can cause big problems for pavement, foundations and any piping you may have nearby underground.
If you have them room for the, though, they are an awe-inspiring delight for lighting up your landscape.
A wonderful shade tree in the summer due to its dense rounded leaves, katsura’s turn to a beautiful pinkish yellow to yellow in autumn. But these trees aren't only lovely, they also perfume the air with a luscious spicy aroma that some have compared to the smell of brown sugar.
When young, these trees have a triangular shape, but as they age can grow to be as wide as they are tall. Given that the katsura can reach as high as 60 feet, you're looking at an impressive display indeed!
Who hasn't reveled in the glory of a maple tree in full fall color? These gorgeous trees range in color from red to orange and even yellow. Descriptions
of these trees range from splendorous to enchanting due to the many varieties of maples available.
While gingko’s and katsura’s require more space because of their size and roots, there are varieties of maple trees that fit delightfully in even a modest yard. The Japanese maple is the smallest, but arguably one of the most stunning fall trees of all. Good things certainly do come in small packages!
Emerald Carousel Barberry
If you don't have space for even a small maple tree, then consider going with barberry bushes. This flowering shrub is wide and arching, its oval leaves turning to an outstanding scarlet color in the fall.
These ornamental bushes take very well to shaping and pruning. As a small to medium hedge they produce a thick network of branches that form an impenetrable barrier that's great for privacy bushing in addition to adding some serious pizzazz to your landscape.
One of the absolute best shrubs to have for fall-time color is the Winged Euonymus. These bushes are known as "burning bushes" due to the brilliant cherry red color they become in autumn. An added incentive to plant euonymus is that their golden branches are delightful and add visual interest all the way through the winter.
An added bonus to the burning bush is that it's pretty low maintenance and can be pruned at any time. In fact, it has no significant negative properties at all, making it a great choice for the past-time gardener.
If even bushes are too large for your space, then pansies are an excellent alternative. Famous for their rich blues and purples, they require very little space and can be planted in shallow 4-inch containers. They grow well even outside an apartment window or on a balcony, and if you live where freezes are infrequent they can provide amazing color throughout the winter months.
The classic orange and bright yellow colors of the calendula are strikingly beautiful. These lovely flowers will provide color to your lawn or garden from late fall throughout the spring in mild-winter climates. They also last very well in a vase inside your home or apartment.
The calendula plant reaches one to two feet high and up to a foot and a half in width. They look great bushed together and even in containers. Good draining is important for these flowers, so be sure to put them in a suitable spot. Also keep in mind that removing the wilting flowers will prolong the blooms.
Whether you have a large property or just a small apartment balcony, there are plenty of choices for bringing stunning fall color around your home. From the towering ginkgo to the "burning bush" or even the delicate pansy, you can look forward to a fantastic fall extravaganza year after year.
About the Author
Jonathan Leger is a gardening enthusiast. He runs a small site dedicated to the education, history and caring of a variety of roses at CabbageRoses.net.