Colour in the garden is not always about flowers. Great colour vistas can be achieved by creative use of differing shades of foliage. While, naturally enough, green tends to be the dominant foliage colour in most garden settings, red is a colour that is already naturally present, although sometimes in more subtle ways. Young leaves are often red, such those on rose bushes; many deciduous plants turn a vibrant red in the autumn months. We all know from our experience of autumn colour that red adds a rich warmth as well as bringing a strong focus.
Red has the right strength of presence to meet the vibrant greens head on and still stand out against the handsome green backdrop, creating a focal point as it beckons the eye. While most of you will be familiar with old favourites such as Photinia Red Robin, let’s take a closer look at some other examples of plants with red leaves.
Berberis Thunbergii Admiration is a small, deciduous low growing shrub whose lovely red foliage turns vibrant red in autumn. Other Berberis varieties with red foliage include Berberis Thunbergii F Atropupurea Harlequin with purple-pink foliage and with red-purple leaves Berberis X Ottawensis Purpurea Superba Barberry or Berberis Thunbergii F Atropurpurea Red Chief.
Parthenocissus Quinquefolia Red Wall Troki – this is an excellent choice if you need a climbing plant with red leaves. Most of you know this as Virginia Creeper and its gorgeous red foliage needs little introduction.