Autumn has produced glorious shows throughout the gardens, and some of the finest have appeared along the gravel stairway on the northern side of our home. From before I cut back all the yellowed hostas and dicentra:
And after, with ever more piles of leaves:
A shrub that’s new to me is this snowberry bush, Symphoricarpos. This rosy variety with its gorgeous, pearly, puffy berries just begs to spill from winter bridal bouquets. I’m loving the branches in tiny vases indoors as well.
The young bush itself is just a mass of sticks, having dropped almost all of its leaves already. The berries may last through January, but we’ll see what hard frosts and snow bring.
Alongside the pink snowberries, this variegated barberry arches in fall splendor. Its bright red teardrop-shaped berries are a cheerful addition to bouquets — once the branches’ thorns are clipped. We have a couple of healthy Japanese barberry or Berberis thunbergii specimens, and they’re placed well to deter dogs or intruders along the fence line. These are considered invasive in certain states, but here they serve a purpose while adding color.
Every garden needs at least one burning bush, Euonymus alatus. I definitely see glory in these crimson leaves, making me feel like Moses!
Our two varieties of Cotinus or smoke trees are bedecked in fall colors, with the purple one changing to reddish-orange tones. It glows more vibrantly than the golden spirit variety, which changed this week to reveal subtle peachy hues throughout.
Nearby, white snowberry shrubs grace the hill below the Chicken Mansion, massed together with other native shrubs. These bushes belong to the honeysuckle family, but the berries are poisonous to humans.
I plan to rejuvenate these tangled deciduous shrubs by giving them a good, hard pruning in early spring.