More Fall Color in the Garden

As we near the end of October, fall seems to be ambling rather than marching on. We have yet to see a frost, and the warm weather means colors have shifted only slowly.

Northern Sea Oats and Bluestar
Northern Sea Oats and Bluestar

Seedheads of Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) are no longer green, but seem to shimmer like hundreds of tiny goldfish. They look good with the yellowing foliage of Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana).

2014-10-20 09.22.36 northern sea oats and bluestar

A closer look.

2014-10-20 09.23.29

The ‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is still almost entirely green, though the seed panicles are turning tan.

2014-10-20 09.25.03 sunflower and Joe Pye weed

‘Italian White’ sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are making a last stand, set off by the fluffy seedheads of ‘Gateway’ Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum ssp. maculatum).

2014-10-20 09.26.15 spicebush fall foliage

In the back garden, Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) has turned a bright orange-yellow.

2014-10-20 09.26.54 purple dome new england aster

The only flower still newly opened is the dwarf New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) ‘Purple Dome’. I admit to being a bit disappointed in ‘Purple Dome’. It’s not as floriferous as I had hoped, and is a bit too scraggly to be considered a dome.

2014-10-20 09.29.28 beautyberry

Last year I planted a small Asian Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma), ‘Early Amethyst’. It has a modest display of berries this year, though they look nice close up.

2014-10-20 09.34.07 darlow's enigma hips

Speaking of fruits, I showed some ‘Cassie’ rose hips in my last post. Here are some ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ hips, more red and than ‘Cassie’, and more oval-shaped.

2014-10-20 09.29.53 virginia creeper

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) smothers the telephone pole in the alley, providing a colorful seasonal display.

2014-10-20 09.38.54 serviceberry

And ‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry (Amelanchier xgrandiflora) leaves shimmer like jewels.

I am posting this as part of Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, sponsored by Christina at My Hesperides Garden. How is the fall color in your garden?

47 Comments on “More Fall Color in the Garden

  1. Lots of beautiful color even if there’s not been a frost yet! Your Northern Sea Oats are the most spectacular display of them I’ve ever seen!

  2. With sunflowers still blooming it looks more like late September than October! I like the switchgrass a lot – very pretty.

  3. I’m impressed with you Northern Sea Oats too, but the colour I love is the Amelanchier; now this really is a tree I want in my garden. thanks for joining GBFD this month Jason, it’s always a pleasure to read about what is in your garden.

  4. Your garden is still full of colors, Jason. Love these bright blue New England asters.
    Sorry the tragedy in your country, I’ve seen on TV.

  5. We woke to a frost here on the beautiful northwest side of Chicago.

  6. Goldfish! That captures the essence of the sea oats perfectly. Thanks for sharing the autumn colour. Maybe your aster just needs time to get established?

  7. Purple Dome should make a dome, maybe it just needs a bit more time. I love all your Autumn colour. The purple colour of the Callicarpa berries is gorgeous.

  8. Oh, I love the combo of Chasmanthium with Amsonia, I might try that with my A. hubrichtii. Have you ever tried Aster novae-angliae ‘Hella Lacy’? I planted that in my front garden, a start from a friend, and it’s very floriferous.

    • I would love to get ‘Hella Lacy’, partly because it was named by the garden writer Allan Lacy after his wife. I don’t see it for sale much, though.

  9. Your garden still looks great Jason. Loving the colour on your serviceberry and the Virginian creeper.
    I’m surprised you haven’t found purple dome to be dome like. It’s only 1 of 2 Asters I grow and it makes quite a dome in my garden.

  10. Love the deep, burnished tones of Autumn and you have them in spades. I will forever after see goldfish when I admire my Chasmanthium latifolium.

  11. Thats a great description of how autumn is proceeding here too Jason. I love the Parthenocissus quinquefolia and its one of the most satisfying plant names to say out loud. My Amelanchier dropped its leaves with hardly any colour change this year, yours looks really gorgeous.

    • Yes, Parthenocissus quinquefolia would make an excellent magic spell, and should be pronounced with flashes of light and a big puff of smoke.

    • Thanks Jess and Jessica! The art is from Homesense (the West Vancouver location, which is really worth the drive). The cool la803r&#d2ed; hmm, it’s been sitting in my garage waiting to be used again since we moved. I got it so long ago that I don’t even remember where, just that it was CHEAP! I know Urban Barn has nice ladders right now at their outlet in Poco.

  12. Hi Jason, yes we do have similar gardening styles and plant choices. I have gotten so that I am not letting many northern sea oats plants grow, because they want to try to take over here. Seeing your asters makes me wonder if the ones I’ve had for many years, and that have self sown are the ‘purple dome’ ones. They do not form domes, either. In fact, I trim them back so they don’t get too scraggly. You have some nice fall foliage going on there.

    You asked me what kind of perennial geraniums I have. There are several kinds, and I don’t remember their names, but I looked up the two kinds you mentioned, and am pretty sure I have those. If not, there are some that look like them.

    • The northern sea oats do make me nervous, I am constantly pulling out seedlings. But they are so beautiful I can’t dig up my established plants.

  13. Oh, I do like that beautyberry, the berries look like little jewels. You have some wonderful autumn colours, lovely!
    I have to remove the seedheads of my grasses as they seed absolutely everywhere which is a real

  14. Fun stuff, Jason . Love the NSO seed heads against green foliage. How nice of the telephone pole to make it self available for the Virginia creeper. I love the blue seedpods against the fall foliage. Cheers, my friend.

    • The pole looks a lot better smothered in vines, Every once in a while the phone company comes by and tears the vines from the wires, but it takes more than that to discourage Virginia Creeper.

  15. Hmmm. No frost yet here either, but the Virginia creeper is bare, and the switchgrass is completely yellow. I guess we’re a little ahead even if our winters aren’t as harsh.

  16. Gorgeous fall colors Jason…here we are now browning in the garden so I am cutting down lots this year due to overgrowth and voles…but a few things are lingering as we have not had our killing frost either.

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