We had a day of life-giving rain yesterday. That’s the good news. But days of wind, followed by yesterday’s day of rain brought most of our New England fall colors to an end around us. The mighty oaks are attempting to hang on to their russet colored leaves but the bright yellows and butterscotch leaves of maples have fallen.
However I’ve planned for that. I can still be a leaf peeper in our own backyard with our three enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus) shrubs. One is ablaze of crimson shades, one a luminescent amber, and the third is a lovely mix of both shades. What a showstopper they are for us as we gaze from our window.
During the summer, the plants sport blue-green foliage and blend into the landscape, but in the spring we are rewarded with pendants of delicate bell-shaped blooms with red veins as shown in this photo from last spring. If the blooms remind you of andromeda (Pieris), it is in the same family.
These shrubs are young and slow growing. At full growth, they can reach the height of a small understory tree. I have read that they don’t like pruning but I’m hoping to be judicious in training the shrubs as they grow. It’s then they can join our other understory trees, the serviceberry trees (Amelanchier), below, that are giving us lovely orange-red fall color now and offer a profusion of spring blooms, as well.