Ah, glorious, glorious fall. It’s easy to forget about all of the growing season’s dramas and disappointments–the multiple extended dry spells, the weeds, the ticks, and the yellow jackets–and spend hours wandering around with a camera in one hand and seed-collecting bags in the other. The colors are simply amazing.
Yes, well…I hadn’t meant that kind of color, obviously. But both boys turned 13 in the past week, and after a few too many alpaca treats, they wanted to be part of the seasonal celebration.
What I really meant was color from the plants. Of all the fall flowers, asters are among my favorites. They’re just there for most of the year, hardly noticeable, then suddenly explode into color. And, most of the asters here have planted themselves, making excellent space-fillers with no work on my part (other than weeding out those that come up where I don’t need them).
Frost aster and the other little white asters are charming, but for rich color, you have to love the colorful New England asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae).
The various pinks are pretty, and the purples are gorgeous. Below is one of my original plants of ‘Hella Lacy’; most of the other purple-flowered clumps here are seedlings from this selection.
Aromatic aster (S. oblongifolium) is another favorite. It’s more of a lavender-blue. but it too works well with a variety of other colors, and it has an interesting form and texture even when not in bloom.
Smooth aster (S. laeve) is also charming: more open than aromatic asters and more compact than the New England asters.
Golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia), too, is a beauty this time of year. Many of my clumps are in seed by now, but I deadhead some of them in late August or early September so they’ll rebloom. They’re shorter, as you can see (compared to the untrimmed clumps on the right and left), but loaded with flowers at the same time that their leaves and stems are turning red.
Other dahlias have shown up in earlier Bloom Day posts, but ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ is the real star now for both flowers and foliage.
Most of the colchicums are finished now, but the single white and double white Colchicum autumnale are the last to appear here.
‘Clarke’s Heavenly Blue’ morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) really sulked during the dry weather, but it is lush and lovely now.
Spanish flag (Mina lobata) is also delighted with the more comfortable growing conditions over the last month.
The amaranths (Amaranthus) are terrific for height and color this time of year.
Grasses, of course, are indispensable for fall interest, especially those with showy seedheads.
Of course, grasses aren’t the only source of showy seedheads this time of year.
I’m so excited that my daimyo (or Japanese emperor) oak made acorns for the first time. Aren’t those fuzzy caps adorable?
I harvested the remaining corn about 2 weeks ago.
A friend (thanks, Clark!) sent me seeds for this pretty bean this summer, and it managed to produce quite a few pods even from the late planting. I really hope I can get it through the predicted frosts this weekend to get mature seed from it.
It was a really good year for the mini gourds, despite the dry spells. They self-sow every year and do an excellent job decorating the fence between the pasture and vegetable garden.
Fall is the season for bright berries, too.
Fall foliage colors are almost at peak here, in the woods, hedgerows, and meadows as well as in the garden.
If you knew how many hundreds of photos I’ve taken over the past month, you’d appreciate my restraint in picking out just a sampling of my favorite garden shots and vignettes. Every day brings new colors, and things vary even over the course of each day, as the light changes.
And to finish, an assortment of pathway pictures…just because.
Whew! I could probably do several most posts just of fall pics over the next few weeks, but right now, I need to concentrate on seeds.
I am passionate about collecting and growing seeds. In the links below, you can find out more about why I started my own one-person seed company and how it works. The library page is a collection of articles I’ve written on seed-related topics.