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The summer plants have now finished their show in beauty and the time has come to replace them with a fiery decor for the glory of autumn, a composition that will undoubtedly last until the depths of winter.
To create your autumn decoration, start by acquiring small shrubs that are attractive with their pretty colored wood or beautiful variegated foliage. Then, before spring, they will take the path to the country garden or a friend’s garden, turning into a memorable and personalized gift.
So look out for the yellow, green ‘Flaviramea’, orange ‘Midwinter Fire’ or even better, bright red Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ dogwoods. The latter thus shows a bundle of burning branches of the most beautiful effect.
Some young willows also offer a yellow or orange silhouette like the ‘Britzensis’ variety enhanced by the low autumn lights.
Decorative foliage side
Opt for the Japanese ‘Rubella’ skimmies with green leaves and charming bouquets of promising pinkish buds. The aucubas like ‘Crotonifolia’ combine golden splashes of foliage with abundant scarlet fruits. The holly, depending on the variety, has often prickly, green leaves, variegated with silvery white (‘Argenteomarginata’) or gold. Here again, the fruits have a great effect on such a case, especially those, numerous, of ‘J. C. van Tol’ with leaves devoid of prickles.
Do not neglect the long-lasting and graphic effect of grasses such as pennisetums or dwarf miscanthus with stubble and ripe wheat-colored ears. Unless you prefer the bronze of the curious antipodean sedges, ruffled, the blue of hedge fescues or the refined of some variegated sedge.
Adopt the pink heather (Erica gracilis) cultivated for All Saints’ Day. They will thus freeze, pink, after the frosts, but will not recover. This is not the case, however, of the so-called winter varieties among the earliest, of the group x darleyensis or carnea. These prove to be accommodating as for the slightly calcareous soils, provided that they are flexible, and propose beautiful bell-shaped pink, white or red flowers.
Complete your painting
By a few pansy plants, violas of which you will find a wide choice of colored varieties, even wavy or curly, or even horticultural primroses with coconut flowers.
Note that some modern varieties of cyclamen resist well and bloom all winter long in the protected atmosphere of our balconies. They represent an original alternative to the evergreen biennial plants so common.
Reinforce the decor
The approach of Halloween should offer you a beautiful pretext to call upon cucurbits, squashes, gourds, pumpkins and coloquins, in such diverse shapes and colors, to instill an original and festive touch to your plantations. Hang the smallest coloquintes from the branches of your shrubs. Place the pots or planters of a large pumpkin engraved by the children (do not let it rest directly on the ground but raise it to prevent it from rotting prematurely).
Also think of the pine cones harvested during your family walks. Why not color them with a spray of spray paint and hang them in braid on the loggia, group them in bunches at the foot of the pots or in the branches. Add a broom evoking a witch, a watering can “customized” for the occasion …
Finish with a soft, amber carpet of dead leaves collected among the most colorful in the area, then glazed with shaggy chestnut bugs and strange polypores (mushrooms growing on tree trunks). To liven things up, think of finding a scarecrow, or use the toddlers’ fertile imagination to concoct one in the spirit of the Wizard of Oz or their hero of the moment.