slideshow: think fall (yes, fall), part 2

okaleaf-hydrangea-quercifoliaI REPEAT MYSELF A LOT, AND HERE I GO AGAIN: Think fall (yes, fall) in early spring, when the urge to shop for for trees and shrubs tugs insistently. Think fall, and think winter, too. The spring things will be obvious, screaming at you in all their glory when you pull into the nursery, or open that catalog. The fall and winter beauties will be politely quiet (and probably hidden behind some garage). Without them—without winterberry hollies and sumacs, crabapples and viburnums and…and…and—how are you going to make a garden that’s more than just a splash in the springtime pan? With these great woody plants, perhaps: 

Click on the first thumbnail, then toggle from slide to slide using the arrows by the captions:

Categoriestrees & shrubs
  1. Andrew says:

    Margaret, I’m SO glad to see your Aralia photos! It’s one of my favorites, but I’ve never seen it growing here in Massachusetts or the Northeast, though I know it’s hardy. I had been planning on getting some for my own garden, and I’m thrilled to see it used in this region to such effect.

  2. Gail says:

    Such a good point and great photographs! I try to plant for all the seasons but it is easy to end up highlighting one season! A well known garden magazine had a beautiful spring bulb cover this past month and I thought..the bulb sellers ought to be marketing now! This is the time of year we really need to order these bulbs for fall shipping! When we can see them in bloom in a garden setting. Gail

  3. Johanna says:

    Brilliant — just what I needed as I begin to fantasize about doing a bed in front of my house. I really want to add things that the birds will use in the cold months, like the viburnum and winter berries. But so many choices!!!

  4. L.T. says:


    One plant that should be planted in every garden – Franklinia! It is not as finicky as most people think. Beautiful foliage and flowers for September and October. Can’t have enough of them.

  5. Deirdre says:

    Don’t forget the beauties of bark. Cornus sanquinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ shading from yellow in the middle, through orange, to red at the tips, Acer conspicuum ‘Pheonix’ with red and white striped bark, and Acer circinatum ‘Pacific Fire’ with orange bark. In the maritime northwest it’s so damn gray all winter that I need COLOR. I have always made a special effort to have winter interest in places I can see from my windows (no point in it being anywhere else). I also have the luxury of growing things like Sasanquah camellias, heaths (Ericas), asian Mahonias, white forsythia (Abeliaphyllum), and cyclamens that bloom in the winter. Many heathers (Callunas) turn wonderful colors in the winter.

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Dierdre, for the great list, and welcome. I grow many twig dogwoods and some willows as well with colorful twigs. Your choices are even wider, and I am a little jealous. :) See you soon again.

  6. Mars says:

    My gosh, I would hang those photos in my house and feel very pleased indeed. The trees…the colored leaves. An orgasm for the eyes! (Or is that tacky?)

  7. Alan says:

    I’m a little late reading this but just wanted to comment on the wonderful display of fall colors and fruit. I have been looking for the ‘bob white’ crabapple for a while now but can’t seem to find one – not even online. If you have any suggestions on where I can get/order one I would love to know; otherwise, I’ll keep looking.

    1. margaret says:

      Hello, Alan. First step: Ask any/all nearby nurseries that have a good selection of woody plants to get you one. ‘Bob White’ is definitely in commercial production in various places, and it is early enough in the season that nurseries will have more trucks coming in all season long to bring you one from an out-of-town wholesaler they do business with. This is how I get most everything I seek: by asking and waiting a little while. I don’t see a current mail-order source, either.

  8. Alan says:

    Hey Margaret,
    Great suggestion. Often I will browse a nursery looking for various plants or trees but most of the time I don’t take the time to stop and ask if there’s something in particular that I’m looking for. That’s going to be my next step with this!!

    Thanks for your response!

  9. Susan Clark says:

    love your article “Think Fall”… Just read it now I am on my way to the nursery… I am new to CT and when I first visited I loved the colors of Fall… So I am eager to plant shrubs and trees that you have mentioned in this article. The information is GREAT! Thank you very much!!!

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Susan. Glad for the positive feedback. And yes, I always think fall…and winter…at every garden shopping expedition. If the “offseason” I am always so glad I did (and so are the many birds who like it here). See you soon again, I hope.

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