Although we still have limbs down in the back garden, and some still hanging in the trees, fall beauty remains.
I always fall for fall.
Just look at these photos of Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ and Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ in my front yard and back garden respectively. The witch-hazel sits between our front door and our bedroom. It is one of the first shrubs to bloom in spring, and Carol Michel and I talked about it on this week’s Gardenangelists podcast episode Dreaming of Spring in the Fall.
A varied landscape with lots of Autumnal color
When I walked the garden last week, I was struck by how our varied landscape really plays some of its best notes in October and November. Ice storms aside, it does seem like autumn is starting later and lasting longer. We’ve had beautiful weather ever since that triple whammy. The cold snap from the ice storm made all of the fall colors pop.
We all need something beautiful in our lives right now. I’m really tired, and I’m sure you are too. 2020 has simply been exhausting, but you can’t stay scared all the time so let’s focus on fall beauty instead.
Lower back garden border with ‘Tamukeyama’ and asters and Kodiak Black® diervilla. Diervilla rivularis Kodiak Black® in its fall plumage.
A native shrub with many-colored leaves
I haven’t written much about Kodiak Black® diervilla from Proven Winners®, but it’s a great plant native to North America. In spring, the leaves are almost black, but they turn dark green in summer. As you can see in the photo above, the foliage turns orange in the fall. It has small yellow blooms in late spring. I have written about ‘Tamukeyama’ Japanese maple many times. I think they look great together.
Chrysanthemum koreana ‘Sheffield’ mum. It has lost its petals, but it’s still feeding pollinators. Sheffield mums with Pup Francis. I didn’t straighten this photo so that you can see how much my land slopes downward. Monarch butterfly with Sheffield mums. Even though the mums are losing their petals, the centers still feed pollinators with nectar. Chrysanthemum ‘Emperor or China’ tumbling over the sidewalk. Chrysanthemum ‘Fall Charm’ which has fallen on the sidewalk. So pretty. Needs better support and no ice storm.
Mums bloom late and make fall beautiful.
The Sheffield mums have all lost their petals, but their golden discs still feed pollinators. We’ve had some cold nights, but all of the mums keep on blooming. Some of their heads are so heavy that they fell on the sidewalks. I need to figure out a way to help support them next year. These mums are about all I have for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.
If I could suggest one thing about improving your garden to create four-season interest, it would be to plant interesting trees and shrubs. Shrubs and trees make all the difference. I only lost one Japanese maple in the ice storm, and I’m grateful because I love them so much in spring and fall. Just check out the color on ‘Peaches and Cream’ below.
Fall beauty is also always about loss.
All of those flaming leaves are about to fall, and we know winter comes quickly thereafter.
It’s taken me over a week to write this post. I’m sad to tell you we lost Bill’s sister, Carla Nash Richter, to ovarian cancer last Sunday. I’ve known her since I was 15 years old, and her death is a great loss to our large family. As recently as October, Carla and I walked the garden and talked plants. She always loved visiting the garden, and even though she was weak, I showed her daylilies I was thinning. I asked her if she wanted some. My son planted those daylily clumps for her along with an aster only a few weeks ago. I’m sad she won’t see them bloom in her garden, but she was excited when he planted them. I’m sure she was dreaming of next summer, and every gardener I know gets a twinkle in his/her eye as we dream of spring and summer and the garden’s yearly renewal. I’m glad she’s now at rest and no longer in pain, although I will miss walking the garden with her.
Hemerocallis ‘Jedi Tequila Sunrise’ H. ‘Jedi Tequila Sunrise’ was one of the daylilies I gave to Carla this fall.
As I wrote above, 2020 has been a very hard year, but fall beauty remains. I hope you are all well. Take care and we’ll talk soon.