Shrubs for Autumn colour
Acers are stunning, but one of the most fickle plants I've ever grown. We have lost quite a few, or they have ended up looking awful, as they are prone to dieback. We have a Sango-Kaku, it looks lovely in Spring, but the Autumn colour has been nothing to speak of, and it actually looks at it's best in Winter, when the pink/coral bark is hit by sunlight. There are probably better Acers for Autumn colour, and I've heard Osakazuki is supposed to be great.
I personally wouldn't buy any more Acers. There are too many other beautiful trees and shrubs, but which are much more reliable. One of our most colourful shrubs is Abelia Kaleidoscope. Not sure how much shade it could take though.
...this is the sight it will be going in, underneath the wall...tidied up obviously and the dead clematis cut down. My concern really is how much sun acers need to get the best out of them because it's a position of very light shade with very little direct sunshine most of the year.
...what I've read, acers tend to give better Autumn colour when grown in a mix of ericaceous and JI.
The purple ones have better colour if they have some sun. However, if they're sitting in extremely high temperatures for prolonged periods, in dry soil, that isn't going to be good for them.
The aspect is just one factor in growing them successfully. Our climate here, where I live, is perfect for them, so we can have them in a south facing site for example, without them suffering too much. We don't have prolonged periods of high temps/sun, our conditions are consistently lower, and we have regular rainfall. Soil is neutral to acidic. They still need some protection from the wind, which is a fairly constant feature here, so the site is still important in order to get the best from them.
It's very similar to where these plants originate. If you don't have those conditions, you need to try and replicate them as well as you can.
Some varieties will also cope better than others - the same as any other plant species.
Right next to a wall is always drier, even if it's in the direction of the prevailing weather, so bear that in mind.
It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
...thank you, and as I live in the North, I feel we might have very similar weather conditions so that's a bonus. So now I think it's just a question of which one to go for.
Nollie, we have a winter flame bought from Ornamental Trees. It struggled a bit at first but is now replanted in quite a shady spot, looking much happier and showing its winter red to perfection.