The OSU Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens here on the Ohio State campus in Columbus is a great resource for both professional and hobby gardeners. When I was a horticulture student at OSU, I had the opportunity to work in these gardens. Since graduating, I continued to work here and there for a couple years in the gardens as a "contractor". There are many plants of interest in those gardens but currently, because it is fall, one sticks out in my mind: Hamamelis 'Girard's Purple' (Girard's Purple witchhazel). Two years ago, I took a succession of photos of this witchhazel to document its length of fall color. I plan on stopping by the gardens this week to see what stage Girard's Purple is in this year, check back for updates!
Keep in mind that the fall color is only one of the attributes of Hamamelis 'Girard's Purple'. It also produces mid-winter blooms (check back for a mid-winter post about this), has a nice vase shape habit, and has interesting scalloped dark green foliage throughout spring and summer.
October 8th- fall color already a gorgeous russet red
October 22- turning to a bright red
October 29- in its full fall glory