The Garden in Autumn

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.


The Garden in Autumn — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Michael —

    A nice photo essay of the garden preparing for rest–there is hope for spring when the little impish bulbs take a peek before their time. A few old established narcissus here on the Oregon coast have jumped the gun and are sporting blooms just as the Bonica roses above them are showing their last blooms before developing winter hips.


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