Autumn

Autumn foliage at St Michael's Trading Estate, outside Old Albion

Acer: classic maple-leaf shaped foliage in fiery reds, yellows and oranges. Up to 1.5m

Bracken: stately, fern-like and sculptural, and coming in so many shades of yellow and tan. These can be up to 2m tall.  

Cotinus: plum-coloured, round-leaved foliage with misty flower clusters. 60cm.

Cotoneaster: long-lasting branches of foliage which have a really lovely arching line to them, some berried. Up to 1.5m

Crataegus (see Hawthorn): berried stems from a wide variety of ornamental hawthorn. Up to 80cm

Dahlias: large, bright flowers of many different shapes, sizes, colours and varieties. 50cm to 90cm.

Elaeagnus: subtle, long-lasting, grey foliage with chalky under-leaf. 50cm – 1.5m.

Fennel: lime-green sculptural-shaped foliage with feathery tops and flat flower heads (bronze one too). 60cm to 1m.

Hawthorn (see Craetegus): interesting varieties of red, rust and yellow ornamental hips, as well as hedgerow branches with red hips. 80cm.

Heptacodium miconioides: also known as seven-sons flower. It is covered in delicately scented, white star-like flowers in early autumn, and has shapely leaves and long stems. Up to 1.5m. Beware, it’s brittle to use, but so lovely. 

Honeysuckle: classic hedgerow beauty, with heady scent. 50cm.

Hydrangeas: large white hydrangea annabel, as well as pinks, purples and greens. Up to 60cm.

Physalis/chinese lanterns: orange parcel seed-heads on straight or slightly curved stems. 60cm.

Physocarpus foliage: long, straight stemmed shrub with plum-coloured leaves shaped rather like a currant leaf. There’s also a lime-coloured one (see image below). Great for filler.

Rose-hips: long sprays and clusters of small bright red hips. Approx. 80cm but up to 1.5m

Rowan: berried stems of this elegant foliage. Up to 1.5m

Sedum: fleshy leaves and broad autumn flower heads. Up to 40cm.

Sloe berry branches: blackthorn branches (complete with spikes), heavy-laden with gorgeous blue-black fruit.

Spindle-berry: winter branches with some red leaves and clusters of pink flowers with orange seed pips. This hedgerow beauty is rare and flowers from September through to November or December depending on whether it’s a mild winter. Up to 2m. 

Symphoricarpus/snowberry: these woody foliage stems bear white berries and small pink flowers. Up to 80cm.

Szechuan pepper: the foliage of this scented, pepper-corn berried foliage is so pretty, and the shapely stems sit in the vase beautifully. Beware of its wicked thorns! Up to 1m.