The popularity of “hardscapes” has prompted many in our industry to marginalize the value of stunning landscapes. Unfortunately, most consumers have been happy to follow that fixation on patios, decks, fire features and everything else that is not soft … like landscapes. That’s too bad. Expect a return of enthusiastic landscaping as we wake up.
Think about it, a beautiful deck or patio stands little chance of being a compelling place to hang out with your loved ones or a personal respite without smartly designed plantings to bring it to life and soften the edges. Anything flowering, that motions with a breeze, has compelling fragrance or a distinct texture has the power to impact our mood and direct how an evening of entertaining unfolds.
Well planned landscapes are especially showy in the fall when leaves are popping with color, almost like a final hurrah before winter sets in, screaming “Look at me!” And look we do. Fall color is often a forgotten function in landscape design, but its value is stunning.
Some of the most brilliant fall colors are housed on the ornamental serviceberry tree. Perhaps that’s why there are five in my back yard on fire with the brilliance of fall. Green leafed Japanese maples are impressive too with a tinge of bright orange showing through.
Understandably, most of us love the impressive endless summer hydrangea for its strong continual flower statement. Yet, the unobtrusive glowing embers hydrangea is my go-to variety because of its warm plum / red tones that begin showing themselves in mid-summer on its large leaf structure. Flowering is almost a bonus for this performer. Same goes with the oak leaf hydrangea.
Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is flower. Could your outdoor living space use an inspiring dose of color?