There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fleeting Fall Colors

Hello again,
Colors are starting to disappear from the landscape and change to various browns, grays, and yesterday, whites. After a brief snowfall though, some colors have persisted and are quite beautiful yet. Here are some of the highlights from our landscape.
Cotinus 'Golden Spirit'
This can be seen from quite a distance. The summertime golden leaves turn a fiery red on this smokebush. I personally love how the veins turn last giving it a multi-colored effect. Golden Spirit continues to surprise me every year. In addition to the fiery red fall color, it actually produced smoke this year as well. It was the first year since planting that I've seen flowering on it. I just assumed it wasn't going to happen. My previous experiences with Cotinus in general is that you can cut the plant back to the ground each year for bigger, more beautiful foliage but then you lose the flowers. I hadn't been doing that intentionally, but there has been some dieback. This year, we got the best of both worlds.
Physocarpus Coppertina™
Coppertina™ is quite a beautiful plant all year 'round. Dark purple foliage with copper highlights in the summer and brilliant red in fall. During the winter time, this plant has interesting exfoliating bark which adds to its four season appeal. For Midwest Groundcovers, Coppertina™ has replaced the more well known 'Diabolo' based on it's better resistance to powdery mildew. It grows 6-8' tall and wide. In our garden, it contrasts well with the Forsythia Show Off™.

Fothergilla 'Beaver Creek'
Beaver Creek Fothergilla has always been one of my favorite fall coloring shrubs. Growing 3-4' tall with creamy bottle brush-like flowers in spring, this is a great plant for the shady border. Here in fall, its orange-red fall color is nothing to scoff at. Another multi-dimensional shrub, I have this growing close to where deer are always browsing, and they have yet to attack it. Today the white frost on the orange-red foliage contrasted very nicely.

Cotoneaster 'Hessei'
Looking like red raindrops cascading to the ground, this plant really caught my attention today. The gray stems contrasting with the red leaves really does add interest to this already interesting plant. Summer and fall red fruit are typically what I love this plant for, but these days in late fall, show off a delicate beauty. A Chicagoland Grows introduction from many years ago, this plant really merits use in the area. Great job Morton Arboretum for promoting this plant in the program!

Callicarpa hybrid
More kudos to The Morton Arboretum for this gem. While yet to be named, the fruit on this particular beautyberry are quite their namesake. We received two varieties a few years back and this one has remained a favorite of mine. The fruit are sometimes so heavy that the branches look like they are weeping. Here's hoping that Chicagoland Grows picks it up and starts marketing them. I think there are great applications for the landscape for these.

Thanks again for reading the blog. I hope you enjoyed. I'll be keeping my eyes out for the more subtle beauty of winter for the next couple months, so keep checking the blog. Until next time, have a great day!

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