Each season has its own unique beauty in the garden and dammit, that is why I love this gardening thing so much. It is never dull and in constant motion in a wonderfully subtle way.
With that theme in mind, there are some photo sets below depicting the same section of garden at different times this year. The first photo in each set is from current day. The subsequent photos then move backwards in time throughout the 2014 gardening season.
Eupatorium maculatum (Joe Pye Weed) in front of Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’:
Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’, Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’, Miscanthus purpurascens (Flame Grass) and Miscanthus ‘Gracillimus’:
Panicum ‘Rots’, Viburnum bracteatum ‘Emerald Lustre’, Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’:
Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’, Purple coneflower, Perovskia (Russian Sage):
Similar plants as listed above but from a different angle:
Barberry, Iris versicolor, Clethra ‘Hummingbird’, Monarda (Bee Balm), etc.:
A little bit of everything:
Looking through Physocarpus (Ninebark) ‘Diablo’ to the aforementioned Joe Pye Weed/Miscanthus combo:
Today we’ll take a look at my best fall foliage plants.
This list only includes plants I have lived with and experienced in my own garden .
Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star)
The more well known Amsonia hubrictii has a much more impressive autumn color but I only added them to my own garden this past spring and it is too soon for me to share any photos of them.
Tabernaemontana still is impressive in its own right as the fall foliage color starts as a pale yellow and develops into an eye catching orange hue.
Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’
I have quite a few different Viburnum shrubs (some real young and still small) and to date, this has been the best autumn performer. Each individual leaf starts to transform slowly to a maroon color starting at the end of September and the majority of the leaves remain on the plant until the end of October here in zone 6B.
Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’
This deciduous shrub, while interesting in early spring with its white bottlebrush blooms, really stands out in the fall with that kick butt orange foliage color. I’ve added a few more this year to really up the impact each autumn.
Panicum (Switch Grass) ‘Northwind’
This ornamental grass and PPA award winner may not be thought of as a fall foliage plant, but that yellow color works for me as the perfect complement to the more common red fall foliage color of other plants.
Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet) ‘Hummingbird’
Another shrub not thought of as a fall performer, but again, I like to mix in that yellow/gold color wherever I can.
Itea (Virginia Sweetspire) ‘Henry’s Garnet’
This shrub, by far, has the greatest red fall color of any plant currently residing in my garden. The fall color starts subtly in August and then kicks it into overdrive by early September. The leaves start to fall off in mid October with a few remaining as late as Thanksgiving.
Miscanthus purpurascens (Flame Grass)
Another ornamental grass, this one takes color to all new heights. Just look at all of the color shades represented in those blades. It is the plant that draws the most attention/questions from onlookers from August through October.
The faded blooms on Monarda (Bee Balm), Clethra (Summersweet) and Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed) are still damn interesting, especially when back lit by the sun:
Physostegia ‘Vivid’ (Obedient plant) and its initial blooms slowly climbing up each stem:
Boltonia ‘Snowbank’ (False Aster) exploded in bloom this past week. At least that is what I think this is. I never planted it myself so I have no idea how it got here. Which now makes me think it is something entirely different. And now I look unprofessional. And my credibility is shot. And I just started three consecutive sentences with the word “and”. Pathetic:
As of the past week or so, there is an unbelievable scent that overwhelms me each time I skip out of my garage and head to work. And that is coming from a guy in desperate need of fixing his deviated septum. Seriously, I can’t smell a thing most of the time.
The producer of said perfumey scent is my Clethra ‘Hummingbird’:
This deciduous shrub has been a top performer for me for years now. The deer leave it alone, it doesn’t mind the wet feet and blooms profusely each and every July. But maybe the coolest thing about it is the way it attracts all sorts of critters to it when in bloom:
I’ve even captured a quick video to truly represent the bee party that goes on all day long:
Knowing how solid Clethra is in my garden, I finally made the smart decision to add even more shrubs this spring. Here is where those stand as we speak:
I am even enjoying the fact that ‘Hummingbird’ has started to sucker at the base of the plant:
Sucker away you beautiful thang. The more the merrier.
I plan on scouring the nurseries this fall for even more Clethra shrubs on the cheap.
I can’t have enough of these gems.
Today’s entry is a big time first. The first post written while hung over. The 20th high school reunion was a smashing success but now I am paying the consequences for all the shenanigans. But more on that later.
Friday night – we had a kick butt seasonal, fresh, summer dinner prepared by Mrs. ONG:
- Cedar plank salmon with a brown sugar rub
- Corn on da cob (NJ corn is off the charts)
- Watermelon margarita – refreshing and effective
- Blueberry Mascarpone Ice Cream – the best ice cream EVER (from the Bent Spoon in Princeton)
Saturday – the HS reunion went down and it was a trip. I’ll spare you all the gory details and give you some of the highlights:
- Many more of the former classmates read the blog than I expected. Actually got into some good gardening conversations. I even threw a “blossom end rot” out there.
- I really wish I named my blog something simpler. Feels a bit silly spelling out the URL.
- To some degree, the old high school cliques still exist. Very funny to observe.
- People really don’t change – that is both good and bad
Sunday – up at 7:30 to bring my chum to Newark Airport. We maybe said three words to each other as we attempted to recover. Meanwhile, my family of hot air balloon hunters were up at the crack of dawn to see the taking off of a ton of balloons during the annual Central NJ balloon fest.
After a lazy, super hot and humid afternoon, we got hit with a mother of a storm and couldn’t have been happier to get the much needed rain. I actually heard the tomatoes sigh with relief.
After the rain, I headed out to take some photos. Never a better time than after a rain in the early evening. And I will go back a bit on what I said in a prior post (shocker, huh?). There are a few macro shots in there that I couldn’t resist. Enjoy:
Lobelia Siphilitica – just starting to bloom
Clethra ‘Hummingbird’ bloom
Miscanthus ‘Super Stripe’ finally starting to take off
Crabapple right after the rain
Caryopteris ‘Sunshine Blue’ looking good.
Pruned back Nepeta (Catmint) already showing signs of re-bloom.
Think I like the Northern Sea Oats?
Good night and God bless.