Plant a few at­ten­tion seek­ers

Garden Answers (UK) - - Celebrate -

Plants bear­ing berries, hips and fruit are a sure­fire way to cre­ate an au­tum­nal fo­cal point in the gar­den. The small crab ap­ple, Malus ro­busta ‘Red Sentinel’, is laden with clus­ters of vivid red fruit in Novem­ber. Co­toneast­ers also de­liver an in­fu­sion of red, but many need a lot of space. Ev­er­green Co­toneaster lac­teus can be grown as an eye-catch­ing hedge while the weep­ing small tree co­toneaster ‘Hy­bridus Pen­du­lus’, a semi-ev­er­green with lots of red berries, is per­fect for a small gar­den. Co­toneaster berries usu­ally last un­til af­ter Christ­mas, not only pro­vid­ing a win­ter spec­ta­cle, but also lur­ing in mi­grant red­wings, field­fares and waxwings. Brightly coloured hips also at­tract birdlife and the flagon-shaped, light-or­ange hips of Rosa glauca, an airy species rose with sin­gle pink flow­ers and gun­metal-grey fo­liage, are adored by finches and tits. Showier and larger red hips ap­pear on thorny rose ‘Gera­nium’. Pink is another at­ten­tion-grab­bing hue in the au­tumn gar­den. The pink berries of Sor­bus pseu­do­hu­pe­hen­sis ‘Pink Pagoda’ ap­pear with the grey fo­liage in late-sum­mer and re­main when the ash-like fo­liage drops, to­gether mak­ing a won­der­ful foil for pink helle­bores. Colour­ful stems also come into their own now. Coral-bark maple (Acer pal­ma­tum ‘Sango-kaku’) will have lost most of its or­ange au­tumn fo­liage but the coral-red stems will last through­out win­ter. The dog­woods also have glow­ing win­ter stems from the thick bright-red stems of Cornus alba ‘Sibir­ica’ to the twig­gier bon­fire of or­ange, coral-pink and red of C. san­guinea ‘Mid­win­ter Fire’ or ‘Magic Flame’.

FO­CAL POINT Crab ap­ple Malus ro­busta ‘Red Sentinel’ makes a colour­ful cen­tre­piece among ev­er­green rose­mary and cop­pery se­dum flow­ers. H and S8m (26ft)

‘SIBIR­ICA’ De­cid­u­ous shrub with good au­tumn colour and bold red win­ter stems. Sun or part shade. H and S2.5m (8ft) ‘SANGO-KAKU’ Flam­boy­ant acer whose cut leaves turn caramel in au­tumn. Dap­pled shade. H6m (20ft) S5m (15ft) ‘MID­WIN­TER FIRE’ De­cid­u­ous shrub with fiery red and or­ange win­ter stems. Sun or part shade. H and S2m (6½ft) CORNUS ALBA ACER PAL­MA­TUM CORNUS SAN­GUINEA

Bright red au­tumn berries that last into win­ter. Full sun or part shade. H and S4m (13ft) SOR­BUS ‘PINK PAGODA’ Tree with blue-green leaves and pink au­tumn berries. Sun or dap­pled shade. H8m (26ft) S6m (20ft) ROSA ‘GERA­NIUM’ A Rosa moye­sii hy­brid with rich or­ange-red elon­gated hips from sin­gle red flow­ers. H2.5m (8ft) S1.5m (5ft) CO­TONEASTER LAC­TEUS

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