Fall has been spectacular this year in my yard. The colors make me swoon. Here are my favorites:
I’ve had Brandywine viburnum (V. nudum ‘Bulk’) for several years, maybe 10. Promotional photos of this Proven Winner ColorChoice Flowering Shrub show the rich color my shrub has this year. This Eastern U.S. native viburnum is sometimes called smooth witherod, possumhaw or wild raisin. The latter refers to its blue fruit that is edible and a favorite for jams.
In spring, white, flat flowers adorn the shrub, followed by pinkish-blue fruit that eventually turns dark blue. Like many viburnums, fruit production is best when there’s another viburnum blooming at the same time.
Double Play spirea
I wish I knew which Double Play variety this is. It is another Proven Winner ColorChoice Flowering Shrub that blooms reliably several times during the summer. But to me, the winning asset of this spirea (Spiraea spp.) is its fall color. The hues are absolutely riveting. Even on cloudy days, the colors are like dollops of sun. I use it in a border along the fence, mixed with other shrubs, perennials and bulbs.
Our native flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) cannot be beat for gorgeous fall color. Add to that the clusters of red berries from this year’s flowers and the dome-like buds for next year’s.
My dogwoods were here when I bought the house in 1989, but they stood in the middle of the front lawn in blaring hot south sun. That first summer I moved them to a bed closer to the house, outside the living room window, where they’ve thrived.
However, two years ago, they developed two kinds of anthracnose fungus disease. Purdue’s Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab diagnosed the disease. The fungus deforms the leaves and could eventually kill the tree. I’ve been having them treated. This year, the color has been stunning.