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Martin McCarron and his favourite autumn plants  Picture: Glasgow West End Today
Martin McCarron and his favourite autumn plantsGlasgow West End Today

Colours and contrast make autumn fun

Adding colour to your garden and outdoor spaces

Autumn is perhaps my favourite time of year in the garden.

I just love shrubs and trees which come into their own and the incredible colours the garden produces from September onwards.

What makes the season so much fun is how you can easily add bright foliage and berries to borders and pots, creating great contrasts and effects.

West End Garden Centre
West End Garden Centre

I particularly love containers planted in the autumn, and the choice of plants you can use is huge.

Here, I have chosen my favourite plants which all work really well in a West End garden:

1. Leucothoe Curly Red. This incredible compact shrub is perfect for patio pots and the front of your garden border. Starting off lush green through spring and summer, the colour changes the colder it gets. So in winter it is a scarlet red with interesting twisted foliage. We just love it at our garden centre in Peel Street.

2. Skimmia Rubella. A stunning shrub that will give you six months of colour in the garden. Starting off in autumn, this evergreen will produce clusters of small red berries which remain through the winter. Around March-April of the following year the berries burst into flower producing clusters of white flowers. It’s a wonderful plant with lots to offer.


What makes the season so much fun is how you can easily add bright foliage and berries to borders and pots, creating great contrasts and effects.

Martin McCarron


3. Eucalyptus Gunnii. A beautiful evergreen tree offering amazing contrasts in colour and texture for your borders. These plants do grow to a fair size so they need to be managed and kept to a height that suits you. However, they actually look their best when kept small, as they turn into an incredible lush silver beacon.

4. Cyclamen. The best flowering plant for autumn. This wee cracker provides a much-needed vibrant splash of colour during the autumn-winter months, coming as they do in such a variety of colours from whites, pinks and rich reds. They are ideal for containers when added colour is required.

5. Callicarpa. A popular choice for autumn colour in the garden, and is a firm favourite of John here at the garden centre. An upright shrub, this plant can fill any gap in your flower or shrub border. During the summer, the plant is clothed in long leaves, followed by panicles of small lilac blooms. The foliage turns rosy-red in the autumn, followed by the main event: glorious clusters of purple berries. Now that really is a spectacle for any city garden.

Martin McCarron at West End Garden Centre
Martin McCarron at West End Garden Centre

With so much to choose from, you shouldn’t have any problem creating a vibrant display as the days shorten and the air begins to cool. Happy gardening.

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