Shrubs for Fall Foliage

Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) – Zones 2-8. This viburnum will grow 6-10′ tall and wide, and is a popular choice for fall foliage color in the landscape. Like most viburnums, Arrowwood is easy to grow in a wide variety of garden conditions and will tolerate full sun to part shade. White flowers provide spring beauty and summer fruit attracts birds to the garden. This viburnum Fall color will have yellow to orange or burgundy-red fall colors, adding lots of beauty to the autumn garden.

Blueberry Shrubs (Vaccinium spp.) – Blueberry bushes are one of those ornamental fruiting shrubs that can serve a dual purpose in the landscape. Blueberries are usually planted for their fruit crop, but with the increasing interest in “edible landscapes”, they have increased their popularity in mixed borders and gardens. Most vaccinium species, even hybridized cultivars, have beautiful fall foliage making them a valid choice for a colorful autumn garden. Gardeners may choose to leave the fruit on the bush to encourage song birds and other wildlife in the garden. Fall foliage on blueberry plants will usually be a bright orange or red color. Blueberry shrubs need acidic, moist soil and do well planted with Camellias or Azaleas as they share similar soil requirements.

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) – Zones 5-9. While hydrangea shrubs are often planted in the landscape for the large, spring flower clusters, the oak leaf hydrangea also provides spectacular autumn color. The leaves turn bronze, purple, or deep red in the autumn and have a pleasing, lobed shape that resembles an oak leaf. Oakleaf hydrangeas make good medium-large shrubs for a perennial plant backdrop, woodland garden, or loose hedge. Their 6′ stature can reach to 8′ tall without pruning and the hydrangeas tend to have a rounded growth habit.

Aromatic Sumac (Rhus aromatica) – Zones 3-9. Native in many parts of Canada and the United States, this sumac has beautiful fall foliage and tends to be less invasive than some other sumacs can be. A low-maintenance shrub, the aromatic sumac tolerates poor soil and full sun to part shade. The 2-6′ tall shrub makes a stabilizer for hillsides and embankments while still providing lots of interest to the landscape. Aromatic sumac has fragrant foliage and twigs, attractive yellow flower clusters, grape-like fruits that are enjoyed by numerous wildlife, and stunning fall color. Each autumn the green leaves turn brilliant shades of red, orange and burgundy.

Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment

Caring for your Lawn in an Environmentally Friendly Way

Picture a healthy green lawn: perfect for lounging, great for ball games and cookouts, a real asset to your home. But did you know that your lawn–and how you take care of it–can also help the environment?  Healthy grass provides feeding ground for birds, who find it a rich source of insects, worms, and other food. Thick grass prevents soil erosion, filters contaminants from rainwater, and absorbs many types of airborne pollutants, like dust and soot. Grass is also highly efficient at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, a process that helps clean the air. Caring for your lawn properly can both enhance its appearance and contribute to its environmental benefits. You don’t have to be an expert to grow a healthy lawn. Just keep in mind that the secret is to work with nature. This means creating conditions for grass to thrive and resist damage from weeds, disease, and insect pests. It means setting realistic goals for your lawn, whether you or a professional lawn care service will be doing the work. (more…)

Trees for Autumn Color

The Autumn Blaze Maple

The Autumn Blaze Maple is one of the most popular new tree introductions in history. Brilliant fall color without the mess and maintenance! You plant it and forget it. Municipalities love these trees because they are very disease-resistant, even for maples. They’re not bothered by car exhaust and they don’t drop seed pods. (more…)