Once again, late autumn settles into my garden like a weary old man into his favorite chair. It’s a quiet time, a comfortable time, certainly not hectic like spring, nor showy like summer – more a season to contemplate the successes of the past year, and improvements for the next. It can also be quite a beautiful time too, in a quiet sort of way, especially if you’ve given some thought to plants that truly come into their own in the fall. Here are a few random views from my garden this morning showcasing the delightful effects of the garden in autumn:
This is one of my favorite garden plants: spirea ‘Ogon.’ It’s a delight in four seasons. Interesting branching structure in winter; bright yellow foliage in spring, followed by white flowers; great golden foliage in summer, and fantastic fall color. A perfect foil, as here, against dark evergreens.
I have never been a fan of rhododendron PJM, mainly due to it’s livid pink spring blossoms, but I will say, this plant, rescued from some odd corner of the garden, is a hit in the fall with it’s purple-green leaves, especially when given interesting companions. Next to it, a fantastic variegated daphne ‘Carol Mackie’ and berberis “Crimson Pygmy.” This last is no longer sold in MA due to concerns about the invasiveness of the berberis clan; however, I have never seen this dwarf cultivar, which seems largely sterile, spread into the wild.
Sometimes some of the nicest garden ornaments are free. In my shade garden, a naturally hollowed out rock hosts a formation of moss I discovered growing in a similar nook on one of the border walls. I transferred it here, where it shares a space with the European ginger just behind it.
And of course, the promise of spring: the first snowdrops beginning their annual rise. Depending on the weather, they’ll begin blooming in December, with the hellebores, and continue through March.