Spruce up your Fall Garden

By Jessica Lesefka and Natalie Ortiz

This month, we had a chance to talk plants with Mary Austin, the Nursery Garden Center Manager, from Lee Highway Nursery in Warrenton. With 38 years in the landscaping industry and 24 years as a master gardener, Mary brings a lifetime of gardening experience to handle any landscape situation. Knowing everyone wants beautiful and easy to care for planting options in the fall, we asked Mary for her favorite recommendations for showy fall plants for gardens in our area.  

Dwarf Flirt Nandina (Nandina domestica ‘Murasaki’)

White flowers May-June, fiery red leaves in fall, keeps its leaves during winter months
Part sun to full shade, well drained soil
Deer, drought, insect, disease, mildew, and heat resistant.
1-2’ average height and spread.

Winter Star Camellia (Camellia x ‘Winter’s Star’)

Evergreen shrub
Partial sun to full shade
White flowers with a hint of pink, flowers for 6 weeks in the fall.
Average height 6-10’, with a similar width.
Moist but well drained acidic to neutral soil
Cold-tolerant, low maintenance, deer resistant
Excellent for container planting and cut flowers

Favorite Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’)

Fiery red leaves in fall
Full sun, water regularly
Average height 6-8’
Loves to be pruned
Use as a border, mass planting, or privacy screen

Little Goblin Red Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillate Little Goblin)

Showy red berries in fall
Partial shade to full sun
Water regularly
Grows to 3-5’ tall to 3-5’ wide.
Use to create hedges or as a backdrop to a cutting garden, or in a container garden.

Fall Pansy

Beautiful, showy flowers
Cold resistant
Partial to full sun
Fertilize once a month, do not require a lot of water

Lee Highway Nursery provides service in areas of landscape design & installation, hardscape, design & installation, landscape and grounds maintenance, and lawn and turf care. They love getting involved with the Fauquier County community.  Most recently, they assisted Brumfield Elementary school for their Beautification Day event, the Remington Community Garden, and the Fauquier Virginia Extension Co-op and their Master Gardeners.


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