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Varieties with beautiful fall foliage

Varieties with beautiful fall foliage



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Some gardens are even more beautiful in autumn than in spring. The colored massifs and the harmonies of green give way to the shimmering colors of the leaves, which change color from day to day until winter. When the golden, scarlet, golden yellow and bright orange hues stand out against a dark green background, the garden becomes a real picture that you never tire of contemplating. What are the varieties to favor to have a beautiful garden in autumn? tells you everything, and even gives you tips for terraces, balconies and window sills!

Question: why are some trees more beautiful than others in the fall?

As soon as the days get shorter, the trees start to prepare for the arrival of winter by stopping producing chlorophyll. By disappearing, this green pigment which is used to transform the light energy lets appear the other pigments which were masked until then. Depending on their concentration, the flavonoids, which give the yellow, and the carotenoids, responsible for the orange, appear more or less. By degrading, sugars also generate the appearance of a new pigment that makes the leaves red. Depending on its chemical composition, each variety of tree therefore sees its foliage change color to become yellow, light brown, orange or red… Conifers remain bright green, because they are naturally protected against the cold… To compose a beautiful garden in autumn, it is therefore necessary to anticipate the color that each variety will take, by playing on the mixtures of colors.

The liquidambar of America: dazzling foliage in autumn

Liquidambar, Japanese maple and ginkgo biloba

King of the Canadian forest in fall, American sweetgum (or American sweetgum) is certainly one of the most beautiful ornamental trees when it is adorned with its purple coat. Its beautiful leaves, its hollowed bark, its majestic habit and its shimmering colors make it an essential variety in autumn, provided you have a very large garden because the liquidambar needs space to flourish. Just as elegant, Japanese maple is also known worldwide for the splendor of its fall foliage. Some collectors are crazy about it and wait impatiently for October to admire their chiseled leaves. Less demanding, this shrub grows very well in city gardens, and even in pots on terraces and balconies. Another fascinating tree in autumn, the ginkgo biloba , nicknamed the tree with 40 ecus, has magnificent light green leaves which turn golden yellow in September-October. Absolutely sublime, it is very resistant to pollution and is easily cultivated in the city.

The golden leaves of ginkgo biloba in autumn have inspired many artists with their unique shape

Garden trees with beautiful fall foliage

Less known, the ornamental pear Chanticleer (Pyrus calleryana) has glossy leaves that turn dark red. Flamboyant, pyramidal in shape, it is fragile but flourishes for several years in small gardens. Theserviceberry (Serviceberry canadensis) is more resistant. Beautiful in all seasons, it turns coppery red as soon as the temperatures drop. Coming from New Zealand, the Pseudowintera colorata is a small, slow-growing tree with foliage that changes from bright red to golden. Also spectacular, the Physocarpus opulifolius Diabolo is dark purple in spring, almost black in summer and beautifully orange in autumn… male dogwood (Cornus mas) is also an interesting variety as beautiful in autumn as in winter.

The fall foliage hues of Pseudowintera colorata match those of Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

Terraces, balconies and window sills, what to plant for fall?

Many shrubs are grown very well in pots and planters on terraces and balconies. Apart from Japanese maples and ginkgos, let us quote for example the Judas trees Forest Pansy whose heart-shaped leaves are dark red, then golden in autumn. The Cotinus coggygria purpurea , nicknamed the wig tree, has light green leaves that turn yellow, then orange, then red. But beware, the berries are toxic. Very recommended for terraces, viburnum are shrubs that grow well in planters. In autumn, their foliage turns flaming red and the red berries are very decorative. Finally, the virgin vines are among the most beautiful fall varieties, like the extraordinary Quinquefolia engelmani to grow everywhere without hesitation!

The Virginia creeper and the Judas tree are grown in planters on terraces and balconies