Autumn Colours

Streetscape with beautiful red foliage trees in Northlake, Wanaka.

There’s more than a whiff of Autumn in the air. It’s a delicious aroma too, filled with the earthy scent of fallen leaves, the air taking on a crispness as if oxygen levels have been dialled up. And there’s still a hint of lingering sweetness from Summer, too.

LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua WorplesdonSweet Gum supplied for Northlake, Wanaka.

We imagine cinnamon, cloves and spiced apple scents fill the kitchen, before wafting through to the lounge, where family and individuals retire beside a recently lit fire to see out the remainder of the day. Yet they might well feel compelled to rise out of that comfy chair and walk to the window. Because a drama is unfolding. Autumn is taking centre stage and it’s show time.

Vibrant red leaves trees featuring in Frankton, Queenstown, a supermarket parking lot.

LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua Worplesdon – Sweet Gum supplied for Frankton, Queenstown.

Wanaka rural road surrounded by red foliage trees, with mountain and blue ski in the background.

LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua Worplesdon – Sweet Gum in Hillend, Wanaka.

LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua Worplesdon – Sweet Gum

If any tree is vying for an Oscar or Tony Award, this one is. Come Autumn, the large star-shaped leaves change from a healthy summer green to a shade of gold, before turning up the heat with a vibrant orange. Just when you think the performance has peaked, shades of crimson and purple appear, a dramatic finale that is so very well suited to avenues, laneways and entranceways.

– Suitable for: Avenues, laneways and entrances, group planting.

– Features: Excellent Autumn colour, one of the hardiest Liquidambars.

Liquidambar Worplesdon, Sweet Gum, 80lt, May 2023

Of course, no show would be complete without a talented supporting cast and when it comes to Autumn, a strong deciduous lead benefits from an evergreen or two for contrast (and maybe a little dramatic tension?).

Viburnum tinus Lucidum hedging project in Jacks Point, Queenstown - Feb 2024.

VIBURNUM tinus ‘Lucidum’ – Evergreen Shrub

Perfect for framing any dramatic scene and a popular hedge choice, this evergreen has glossy, oval shaped leaves that reflect daylight to seemingly make the day dance a little.

A chorus line if you will, for the musical interlude of the Autumn show. It can grow to 5 x 3m.

– Suitable for: Screening and hedging.

– Features: White Winter flower.

Image: VIBURNUM tinus ‘Lucidum’ supplied for Jack’s Point, Queenstown.

VIBURNUM tinus ‘Eve Price’ – Evergreen Shrub

Bringing cheerful glee to any garden, this wonderfully talented evergreen ignores the curtain call to carry on performing well into winter.

When many trees fade, the ‘Eve Price’ delights with popcorn-like red buds that open up to star shaped white flowers set against dark green leaves. The ‘Eve Price’ can grow up to 3 x 3m.

– Suitable for: Hedging, screening and group planting.

– Features: Hardy dark green foliage and clusters of white flowers through Winter and Spring.

Pretty Viburnum tinus Eve Price evergreen shrub with flowers, 12lt.
Testimonial from Keith, Gore.