For lovers of colour and texture in the garden there are few more rewarding shrubs than the cotinus. Throughout the summer and early autumn it bears foliage that is first a deep purply red, becoming redder later. As autumn progresses skeletal patterns appear (as can be seen in the first picture below) then, gradually, the rich colour drains, leaving behind a myriad of delightful pastel shades.
These two photos are from the same shrub and were taken a few days ago, within a minute of each other. The first is of the top growth, exposed to the sun.
The second is from the lower shaded branches. Unless there is a severe frost the upper growth too will adopt a similar colour range during the coming weeks.