Every year when autumn rolls around I inevitably go on and on about the amazing, blazing colour my burning bush produces. It deserves all the praise I give it. The red foliage is outstanding and I can't imagine my garden without it. This year, the burning bush did not disappoint but its fall foliage spectacle has been over for at least a week.
Enter Dwarf Forthergilla or Fothergilla Gardenii. The two shrubs I purchased earlier this year have been more than happy to step into the spotlight now that the burning bush has made its exit. The fothergilla is not nearly as in-your-face as the euonymous alatus. The colours are far more subtle and each leaf provides several shades of yellow, orange and sometimes red. The best way I can describe the overall effect is by comparing it to a camp fire: the shrubs glow warmly while featuring occasional hot spots to make things interesting. Perfect for the ever cooler and shorter days of November.
The shrubs are growing very happily in a fairly shady section of the woodland walk. At only about one foot tall, they have a lot of growing to do which means many more and better fall foliage displays. In a few weeks, once they have dropped their leaves, the countdown to spring begins. It will only be a few short months before the fothergillas are back with their fragrant, bottle-brush blooms. I'm happy to have extended the fall foliage show in the garden. And I'm happy to be discovering plants that provide multiple seasons of interest. Obsessive research through an ever growing pile of garden books and hours of surfing garden sites is really starting to pay off.