Spring Flowers & Fall Color: Double Duty Plants

 

There are several plants, trees and shrubs alike, that are well known for their early season attributes, but go amiss when it comes to their fall foliage. As we turn the calendar to September and prepare for fall, the garden center is beginning to transition to reds, oranges, yellows, from the typical greens that gather the rest of the season. As you walk around, you can see its more than just the maples, oaks, grasses, and dogwoods turning color, there are common spring and summer staples that are also pulling double duty as we head into fall.

Crabapples

Crabapples are commonly known for their showy spring flowers, but did you know they also have fabulous fall foliage? Flaunting tones of red and orange, crabapples do not receive enough attention for their fall foliage which should be equal to their spring flower. So the next time you are seeking a new tree for your yard don’t forget about the dueling seasonal opportunities a crabapple can provide!

Serviceberry

An under utilized garden gem! Available as a tree or shrub, this specimen boasts beautiful spring florals that lead to edible small purple-black berries. The tree form ‘Autumn Brilliance’ is a beautiful medium sized ornamental tree if you are looking to add diversity to your landscape. The shrub form, ‘Regent’ is a great addition for feeding wildlife in your yard or creating a small hedge or screening. Not only will these plants bring spring color and edible fruit, the blaze red/orange fall color is a show stopper for sure!

Azalea/Rhododendron

Prolific blooms fill these plants early season. Bright pink, purple, white and orange are colors you can expect from these spring flowers. Many people desire the spring impact that the azalea and rhododendron bring to the landscape but many are unaware of the bonus fall color they are in for. Broad, thick leaves bring copper and bronze hues into fall with the next season’s buds adding a depth of texture, what a sight to behold!

 

So, as we make our way to the end of another year, planning for the next begins. Consider adding a few of these double duty plants to your landscape and enjoy an eye catching spring and fall landscape.

Serviceberry Fall Foliage

Crabapple Fall Foliage

Mums: Garden versus Fall

Now is the time of year when beautiful mums appear at Trees Today Nursery, grocery stores, and home stores.  These are called “fall” or annual mums.  Their colors are an assortment of reds, oranges, bronzes, yellows, whites, and many more.  They look beautiful sitting in pots on front porches or placed in gardens.  However, they generally do not survive being replanted in the garden in  Zone 4 (our area of Wisconsin and Minnesota).  If they do survive a winter, chances are they will not survive the following winter.  If you succeed in overwintering a fall mum in your garden, to get a bushy blooming mum in fall you need to start pinching it back in July or chances are it will become stringy and lanky.

Garden mums are the perennial mums hardy to Zone 3.  At Trees Today we carry Mammoth Mums that were bred at the University of Minnesota for endurance and cold.  Once planted in your garden they may grow to 3-3 1/2  feet wide by 3-4 feet tall.  Their colors are limited, but their abundant blooms are very showy and last for weeks.  Also, these mammoth mums do not need any pinching.

Orange fall mum
Photo from Trees Today Nursery

 

Mammoth lavender mum
Photo by Trees Today Nursery

 

 

Sharing Photo of Pink Splendor Hydrangea

Look at this beauty! A customer snapped this picture of their Pink Splendor hydrangea from 2020, stating “This brings a pop of color to my patio!”

A great addition to a small garden or as a patio plant, the Pink Splendor will quickly reach a height and spread of 4 feet. This hydrangea thrives in morning sun and afternoon shade or filtered sun.

If you are looking to give this one a try, stop in and pick one up, we just received a fresh shipment.

 

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