Todmorden In Bloom column: Autumn can still bloom with beauty

Cotoneaster in Autumn
Cotoneaster in Autumn

Todmorden in Bloom believe that autumn is an underrated season in the garden and can be most colourful with choice shrubs.

Autumn conjures mellow and glowing moods in nature.

There are long lasting displays of certain flowers and glowing fruits on some native trees. Autumn brings the colours of sunset, vibrant earth tones, brick and fire, alongside strong pinks and purples in the softer light.

There are plenty of shrubs to plant for autumn colour and interest.

It’s best to choose for reliability and those which are relatively easy to grow on any reasonably fertile well-drained soil.

Most would also fit into large, containers given extra care. Todmorden in Bloom recommend that you have a good look around, visit garden centres, or try websites or gardening books for further information.

These are some favourite, timeless autumn shrubs:

Dogwood (Cornus) is a small shrub for all seasons with coloured stems in winter, before its leaves in summer which turn to attractive hues in autumn. Cornus grow easily in any soil.

Hydrangeas have displayed stunning blooms this year!

The flower heads are wonderful, even during winter when they turn to artistic clumps of parchment.

Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum) have dainty leaves and excel in autumn colour.

There are a multitude of Acers to choose from. ’Fireglow’ is a vigorous variety with upright stems and a spreading canopy of deep wine red leaves turning scarlet in autumn.

It can also be grown as a specimen shrub in a large pot.

Cotoneaster is not the most glamorous of shrubs but its arching, partially evergreen branches and small grey-green leaves with red berries can be useful in specific sturdy situations.

Here in Todmorden it has been used to grow up a wall at our Health Centre.

Cotoneaster is a very wildlife-friendly shrub with the small white flowers adored by bees and the subsequent scarlet berries helping feed birds through winter.

Have you noticed how this month certain shrubs are having splendid extra blooms?

By the canal, there is a Viburnum Bodnantese with its dainty pink flowers, normally peaking in January! Also some spring-flowering clematis is now into a second blossom.

l Todmorden in Bloom will always welcome more helpers, especially now during our busiest months ahead. For more information please phone Norman on 01706 812205 or Jean on 01706 817492 or see our website at or