Make Colour Last

Spinulose wood fern plant

Wood ferns Stay Green Year-round

Make the transition from summer to fall spectacular by following these tips for adding end-of-season interest, colour and texture to your yard. 

Plant Trees for Fall Colour

Larger trees like red oak and Freeman maple showcase brilliant red and orange leaf colour, while native birch and poplars add a splash of yellow. Shrubs, like staghorn sumac, smooth serviceberry and alternate-leaved dogwood add red, orange and purple to the understory.

Don’t Forget Fruiting Shrubs

Many native shrubs produce an abundance of fruit that can add little sparks of colour to your garden. Plant a variety to create an array of colour, like pin cherry (for red berries), snowberry (for white berries) and nanny berry (for deep purple). 

Keep Texture in Mind

Leaving flowers like coneflower and goldenrod standing after they’ve finished blooming will provide a point of interest and texture to your yard. They also provide seeds for birds like American goldfinch and over-wintering habitat for pollinators that will help your garden bloom next season. Native ferns, like Christmas fern, and wood ferns, like spinulose and marginal wood fern, stay green into winter. Clumps of native grasses can add a variety of textures. Choose Indian grass for soft and feathery tufts or bottlebrush grass for a spiky contrast.

Photo: Tom Potterfield

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