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Late bloomers! Plants for autumn colour

Your autumn garden does not have to be 50 shades of brown. Here are six plants that look blooming lovely at this time of the year. Prepare to be dazzled.

In the words of The Mamas & Papas ‘All the leaves are brown and the skies are grey’, but that doesn’t mean your garden has to be dreary. Yes, summer steals all the HD bright flora and fauna, autumn doesn’t have to be 50 shades of brown. We quizzed the experts at specialist garden centre The Big Plant Nursery in Twyford for their top six plants for a splash of new season colour. Part of our Home Special in association with Brewers.

Top six plants for autumn colour

Sweetgum Trees

sweetgum tree

To give this tree its fancy Latin name, Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’. The Sweetgum is a medium-sized deciduous tree with maple-like leaves which turn to deep orange and yellow in autumn. Although its flowers are insignificant, it more than makes up for it in long lasting seasonal colour and funky seed pods and full crown. One of the best trees for Autumn displays you can get!

Beauty Berry


In a sea of reds and oranges, this purple beaut is a showstopper on a dull day. Callicarpa, aka Beauty Berry, has eye catching iridescent purple berries, striking enough to stop anyone in their tracks. Berries are great for colour and wildlife, especially if you aren’t a fan of bare branches.

Winged Spindle

It’s the garden gift that keeps on giving. The Winged Spindle (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’) is a compact spreading deciduous shrub, developing prominent corky ridges on the branches. The small, green leaves turn rosy-red in autumn. Delicate green flowers are followed by striking red-purple fruits containing orange seeds. Try it as a hedge – another impressive performer at this time of the year.



This plant is on fire! I mean not literally, but wowzers the orange is berries on this Firethorn plant is stunning. It’s an evergreen shrub that provides structure all year round, producing an abundance of berries in a range of shades from yellows, orange and reds. It can be grown as a wildlife hedge, and the thorns make it an ideal security hedge, ideal for those awkward boundaries.

Virginia Creeper

Background of red and green Virginia creeper known as five-leaved ivy on the wall.

Love a climber? Wisteria hysteria is so last year, try the Virginia Creeper – dramatic yet does not come with a high maintenance warning. Virginia Creeper (aka Parthenocissus) are vigorous deciduous climbers with either tendrils or disk-like suckers, and palmate leaves which often colour brilliantly in autumn. Inconspicuous green flowers are sometimes followed by attractive blue or black berries. Ptricuspidata is a very vigorous, self-clinging large deciduous climber, with leaves that turn brilliant crimson and purple in autumn.


Acer tree

Acers are a favourite in every autumn garden. Renowned for their spectacular seasonal colour, from the fine delicate leaves of Acer palmatum var. dissectum to the broader leaves of Acer Platanoides ‘Drumondii’, The Big Plant Nursery has a variety to suit all gardens, large, small, modern and traditional.

The Big Plant Nursery, Wargrave Rd, Twyford, Reading RG10 9PN

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