Coral garden
Andrea Bellamy |


I love fall, in case you haven’t noticed. I love fall planting, fallen leaves, Hallowe’en, the changing of seasons, the gradual descent into winter. I even love Proven Winner’s Fall Magic line, a clever bit of marketing that I always fall for (groan). But while fall might be a great time for planting shrubs and trees, our local nurseries have a rather pitiful supply of them just now. I went in with visions of hostas and ferns and spirea – things that just don’t sell at this time of year I suppose – and came out with an evergreen shrub party. Not what was planned, but hey, that would take the fun out of it, right?

The photo kind of sucks, but I’m fond of this nice little coral-coloured grouping. I planted it in my neighbour’s raised bed that borders the walk to my front door (yes, with her blessing!). It features Podocarpus alpinus ‘Red Tip,’ a lovely dwarf conifer with dark blue-green foliage with dark purple-red tips; Berberis thunbergii ‘Cherry Bomb‘ (Japanese barberry), with its deep crimson foliage and bright red berries in winter; Nandina domestica ‘Sienna Sunrise’ (Sienna Sunrise Heavenly Bamboo), a stalwart performer with dramatic foliage colour; and Echinacea Big Sky ‘Twilight’ with its gorgeous corally-pink blooms. I threw a few dozen tulip and snowdrop bulbs in there for good measure. The rest I’ll fill in come springtime – or a better selection of perennials – whichever happens first.

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