Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall Highlights

Well, the first snow has fallen and winter has officially arrived! Here is a retrospective of some of this fall's highlights...


Calamint and Sedum are in full bloom on my front entry walk. Nepeta, Heuchera, Hellebores, and a golden Chamaecyparis provide foliage color contrasts as well.

Calamint, Sedum, Heuchera, Chamaecyparis
My Eglantyne rose continued to bloom well into the fall. It is a monster - I've attempted to strap it to an obelisk here, with perhaps limited success.

'Eglantyne' Rose
I planted some Fall crocus among the galium. Only a few came up, and the bloom was pretty but fleeting - I think they lasted only two or three days. Still, potentially worth it for the brief splash of color.

Fall crocus
My hardy chrysanthemums all miraculously survived last year's brutal winter! Here is 'Mary Stoker', which has a lovely butter yellow color but a somewhat tall, sparse habit. It tends to flop after a rain. I suppose I need to try cutting it back in mid-summer.

Chrysanthemum 'Mary Stoker'
Here is Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Yellow', which despite the name is not yellow but a lovely peachy-apricot. I have it growing right next to 'Sheffield', a pink aster which blooms several weeks later.

Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Yellow'
My tibetan clematis (Clematis tangutica) blooms throughout most of the summer and well into fall as well. I actually like it in fall best, since the mix of yellow bell-shaped flowers and crazy space poofs makes such a pleasing contrast. This is a very large clematis that is easy to care for and fills out nicely every year. Highly recommended if you have the space.

Clematis tangutica 'Bill MacKenzie'


My quince tree bore fruit for the first time this year! There were only five fruits - not a grand harvest, but still very exciting. It was just enough for one batch of quince cheese (a kind of jelly-like candy). Yum!

Quince 'Aromatnaya'
The sedum have now faded to a brick red color. Here they are with Japanese Anemone 'Alice', which is growing in a bit now and put on a grand show this year. Anemones are slow growers but get better year after year. I like 'Alice's big double blooms.

Sedum and Anemone 'Alice'
Many plants are starting to show bright fall color. Here is bright orange and scarlet Mukdenia rosii, a cute little woodland plant that is unfortunately rather pricey.

Mukdenia rossii
Platycodon (Balloon flower) has attractive yellow foliage in the fall. It makes a nice contrast with the deep blue of Aconitum. The Aconitum gets very tall and floppy, but I'm not sure if cutting back is effective with this plant.

Aconitum fischeri with Platycodon foliage
Belamcanda is sometimes called Blackberry lily because of its beautiful fall seedheads, which do almost look like blackberries. An attractive plant in all its stages - in flower, leaf, and seed.

Belamcanda chinensis with seedpods
Not all hostas develop fall color. Some just wither away and die one day with no apparent warning. But 'Blue Angel' always develops these lovely yellow rings that persist for weeks. A classic and one of my favorite hostas overall.

Hosta 'Blue Angel' displaying fall color
Most tree peonies do not have much in the way of fall color either. But some cultivars do - it depends. This one - a classic Chinese cultivar called 'Luoyang Hong' (Red of Luoyang) always develops lovely red splotches. This year they were particularly lovely!

Tree peony 'Luoyang Hong' - fall color

Of course no discussion of fall color is complete without one of these fellows - Amsonia hubrichtii. It truly glows in fall, and makes a lovely textural addition to the garden in other seasons.

Amsonia hubrichtii - fall color
Finally, I enjoyed this red-on-red combo: Chrysanthemum 'Glowing Ember', a very large and late blooming chrysanthemum, next to the brilliant purplish-ruby foliage of Physocarpus 'Coppertina' (Ninebark).

Chrysanthemum 'Glowing Ember' and Physocarpus 'Coppertina' in Fall


  1. Your garden is fabulous in all seasons, Rebecca. I was surprised to see that your tree peony is gorgeous even in fall. And you've renewed my interest in adding Amsonia to my garden.

  2. The first snow, Rebecca. How fast the warm days have gone...
    Love your Chrysanthemum, they are hardy, aren't they? I am wanting to have these ones but don't see enough hardy for our winter. Chrysanthemum decorate well autumn garden, as sedum too. Your plants are nice in this season!


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