Autumn is one of the most popular times to visit the high hills of our region, as the deciduous plants all put on their striking annual display of colour.

The changing of the leaves happens as the nights start to cool down; some change sooner than others, meaning that you’ll see different colours, depending on when and where you visit. It’s not surprising that many visitors want to take a little bit of that colour home with them in the form of a plant or tree. So, we’ve put together this handy guide for where you can spot and buy different colours of the region.

When it comes to autumn colour, it’s easy to think of the big trees, such as maples, ash, oaks and poplars – all of which are stunning, however perhaps a little big for the average garden. Plants like smoke bush (which you’ll spot in many home gardens within the region), along with quince, medlar, dwarf apple trees and small maple varieties (such as the Japanese maple) are all fantastic options for the domestic garden.

You’ll also spot excellent examples of autumn colour-filling vertical spaces throughout the region, which can be replicated at home. As seen from its commanding position on Vincent Street in Daylesford, Café Koukla is covered in an ornamental grape vine. While Boston Ivy weaves its way around the verandah of the Swiss Mountain Hotel in Blampied and across the face of the highly photogenic Mt Macedon Uniting Church.

In addition to autumn leaves, the change in seasons brings a pop of colour to flowers too. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, with its rusty red flowers is in full bloom, as are the flowers of hellebore, both of which can be viewed at Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens. The heads of hydrangea also change in colour from summer into autumn – stunning examples of which can be seen in gardens throughout the whole region.

Our cool climate and high elevation mean we get a full range of rose hips too. When the flowers have finished from summer the fruits of the rose are absolutely stunning. Often spotted on the sides of the road throughout the region, they are also a fantastic habitat for small birds.

To take some autumn colours home with you, pop into one of the various nurseries found scattered throughout Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

Top picks include Lambley Nursery & Gardens in Ascot, Wombat Hill Nursery in Daylesford, the Garden of St Erth (by the Diggers Club) in Blackwood, Spring Hill Nursery in Tylden, Stephen Ryan’s Dicksonia Rare Plants in Mount Macedon, Mt William Advanced Tree Nursery in Lancefield and the Riddles Creek Nursery.

About the author

Catherine Fremantle
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Catherine has a wealth of horticulture knowledge and lives in beautiful Dean.