I hosted a garden club group from Sydney over the weekend and the autumn colour in our garden generated a great, positive response. It certainly is one of the pluses of our region’s climate, that we get much better autumn colour than gardens in coastal and subtropical regions. Depending on the seasonal conditions we are experiencing, sometimes it is the golden autumn leaf trees and shrubs that really catch the eye, while in other years it is the scarlet and red leaves of autumn that stand out.
In my garden this year, the two trees with brilliant yellow foliage are the Ginkgo and the Golden Ash. There is always a good story to tell with the Ginkgo which is native to China, has a unique leaf shape and is thought to be one of the oldest trees growing on earth, fossils apparently prove that it has
been around for 270 million years. The one in our garden is growing next to a great Australian native icon, the Wollemi pine, one of the rarest trees in the world and which fossils prove have been around for about 200 million years. Experienced gardeners have called this our “dinosaur garden”.
Switching to red autumn leaves, we have a beautiful range of Japanese maples of different sizes and leaf types in our garden.
One of the first to colour bright red in autumn is an Acer japonicum vitifolium, which has dropped its leaves now. There are some quite common, seedling Acer palmatum trees that are magnificent red specimen trees now. Red oaks, claret ash, ornamental pears and liquidamber are other trees providing
beautiful orange/red leaf colour in our garden at the moment.
Although we don’t have the following trees in our garden, they are well suited to growing in our region and produce eye catching autumn colour. Lipstick maples (October Glory and Autumn Blaze), Chinese Pistachios and Nyssa sylvatica are all medium sized feature trees with amazing autumn leaf colours.
I source most of the trees listed above in winter when they are dormant, in bare root form. This is a cost effective way to buy them and I recommend that you get orders in soon if you want to see amazing autumn colours in your garden in years to come.
By Ian Rogan