Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cotoneaster Gives Color Through the Fall by Heirloom Fan

When we moved into our home, we found a low growing woody shrub in the back yard that provided color and interest for several seasons. If you have not tried a Cotoneaster in your landscape, you might want to consider it.

Cotoneaster is from the Rosaceae family, which includes apples, peaches, plums, crabapples and 250 other common landscape plants. There are several varieties of Cotoneaster, including those that are deciduous and evergreen types. Some of these are even used in bonsai applications.

The Cotoneaster in our landscape is the deciduous variety, with shiny small green leaves, woody stems and small white/pink flowers in the spring. But one nice feature that I appreciate is as color begins to fade in the fall garden, the Cotoneaster comes forward with vivid bright red berries. As the leaves drop off the berries are even more of a standout against the dark woody stems. The berries are similar to rosehip shape and the ones on my bushes are very shiny and look great against snow as well. They are also attractive to birds for winter feeding. Cut a few stems around Christmas to add a holly like touch to arrangements, too.

So if you are looking for ways to extended color and interest in your garden or landscape, you might want to try a Cotoneaster plant.