Much of the fall color has gone. The swamp cyrillas are hanging on to about half of their leaves, now turned a festive Christmas-y red, and most of the roses are done. Fall is like a reverse spring where the focus narrows and narrows to a few spots of color: a very late-turning blueberry here, the glowing leaves of a rugosa there, the burnished burgundy of the oak-leaved hydrangeas.
Pictures of the roses from a week ago:
I love the way the little garden beside the house looks, although I've found the appeal hard to capture in pictures. This one is also from a week ago. The rosy gold shrub to the left is a rugosa rubra, the straw-colored stalks are spent hardy ginger, and the gold to the right are from the shorter 'Foxi Pavement' and the extravagant 'Sir Thomas Lipton' (still covered on top with yellow/apricot leaves). The long stems leaning across the path belong to a swamp sunflower.
For contrast I wanted to put up a couple of pictures from late April, but couldn't find an exact match on a sunny day. Quite different though!
The oak leaved hydrangeas take the prize for keeping their leaves the longest. The 'Dayspring' east of the house has been colored for at least a month, a deep wine color with a scattering of crimson, and the 'Pee Wee's at the front of the house have turned now too. The hydrangeas at the front always turn later because they don't get much sun this time of year. One year they didn't turn at all, just froze before they get a chance to turn, but usually they do, very late. Just yesterday, for the first time on a cold overcast day, I noticed how brilliant the red leaves looked. They looked lacquered from the rain.
The transformation of lowly weeds into things of beauty this time of year never fails to amaze me. I call them lowly weeds because for the first half of the year they bug me. They really look like weeds. Then starting at Halloween they transform into silver and gold creations.
Broomsedge in one of the floodway fields; the tall grass is sugarcane plumegrass, which I never consider a lowly weed.