And you are exactly right. Growing up in Miami, I knew it was ‘winter’ only because our crape myrtle lost its leaves (as did a large tropical almond, which after being toppled by a hurricane we made certain never grew back by ‘watering’ it with gasoline). In Virginia, any number of shrubs that are deciduous in New England retained their greenery year round.
Of course we have evergreens in New England – rhododendron, for example – but the hunt for color is for the reds and yellows that linger into mid-autumn. We’ve now had enough sub-freezing nighttime temperatures that the annuals planted back in May have long since gone to that Big Compost Heap in the Sky (or, more specifically, the one at the back of our property). The maples are down to a smattering of leaves that will be gone in a week or so. Even the oaks have turned a dismal yellow-brown and their leaves are clogging my gutters.
|A pair of fothergillas|
|Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' on November 1|
|The Itea 'Henry Garnet' in our rock garden|
|Enkianthus on November 1|
|Hosta 'Camelot' on November 1|
We use Leucothoe axillaris as an evergreen foundation planting, and it does some wonderful things in the autumn, with leaves that are speckled green and white during the spring and summer developing cranberry and white stripes. It makes for terrific viewing out the living room window.
Finally, I’m keeping an eye on our oakleaf hydrangea (hydrangea quercifolia). It has not been in the ground for eight or nine years and has a diameter approaching ten feet. Its leaves are just starting to turn. Photos will be posted when it gets interesting.