Top 5... herbaceous plants for seasonal tints
These varieties will make your garden glow with rich autumnal colour
1 Mukdenia rossii ‘Karasuba’
Low, slow-spreading perennial. Rich green, maple-like leaves turn red from the tips. Sprays of white flowers from March to May. Any damp, but not constantly wet soil in semi-shade. H: 20cm (8in), S: 30cm (1ft). Tip Ideal for growing in pots in shade. From www.edrom-nurseries.co.uk; tel: 01890 771386.
2 Amsonia hubrichtii
Clump-forming, fine-leaved, airy perennial. Foliage turns bright yellow then mahogany before falling. Sprays of starry, soft blue flowers in June and July. Any moist, well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. H: 75cm (2½ft), S: 50cm (1¾ft). Tip Plant is slow to establish, but long lived when happy. From www.claireaustin-hardyplants.co.uk; tel: 01686 670342.
3 Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’
Upright, clump-forming, deciduous grass. Leaves become red-tipped in summer, progressively turning wine-red by autumn. Voluminous, airy seed heads. Any moist, well-drained soil in sun. H: 1.2m (4ft), S: 60cm (2ft). Tip Lift and divide in late winter. From www.knollgardens.co.uk; tel: 01202 873931.
4 Darmera peltata ‘Nana’
Compact perennial producing a carpet of umbrella-like, bronze-tinted leaves from flat rhizomes. Tall spires of pink and white flowers appear before leaves in spring. Moist, but not waterlogged soil in sun or light shade. Leaves turn yellow and red in autumn. H: 60cm (2ft), S: 45cm (1½ft). Tip An ideal poolside plant.
From www.bethchatto.co.uk; tel: 01206 822007.
5 Euphorbia epithymoides ‘Bonfire’
Mound-forming perennial with stems clothed in narrow, purple-flushed blue-green leaves, red-tinted in autumn before falling. Tight heads of sulphur-yellow blossom in April and May. Any moist, well-drained soil in sun. H: 60cm (2ft), S: 45cm (1½ft).
Tip Wear gloves when handling due to irritant sap.
From www.claireaustin-hardyplants.co.uk; tel: 01686 670342.