Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last of the fall color

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:


Carolina rose

A purple-flowering China/gallica

Prairie rose (Rosa setigera)

Resident mockingbirds LOVE the hips.

Another prairie rose, different species (Rosa arkansana)

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.

These pics are from today.

Truly a four season shrub!

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.

I love the way the seedheads of goldenrod and dog fennel look in the fall and winter too.


  1. Gorgeous! Especially those Oak Leaf Hydrangea leaves!!!

  2. That is a lot of rose hips, I am sure the Mockingbirds are very happy. I am already planning on planting two more oakleaf hydrangeas next year, just love their fall color. They are truly a four season shrub.
    Love the comparison of season ...beautiful in both seasons.
    Broom sedge is lovely this time of year as well.

  3. Stunning pics of your fall garden! I love an oak leaved hydrangea, so nice its leaves are in fall.

  4. Oh the beauty of fall/winter in your gardens. I love it.

    Beautiful photos as always.

    Thank you for your love and support.

    FlowerLady Lorraine

  5. Wow. I love your yard. All your pictures are great, but my favorites are the ones of the sparkly broomsedge and dog fennel . . . and those rose hips are amazing too!

  6. Beautiful in any season in your garden. I love the sparkling shimmer of the grasses in the sun. Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. Lovely Sweetbay! There is so much delicate color and beauty within a simple leaf and fields of grasses. Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

  8. Can't believe were near the shortest day already. Comes around quick.

    The oak leaf hydrangea flushes up a treat.

  9. Loved the contrast rose/arbour photos. Amazing.

    Soon, on to longer days! Cannot wait.

  10. Your plants are still providing a lot of interesting color so late in the year. And looking at the spring photos must build a lot of anticipation for next year.

  11. It's a treat to see this fall color on such a cold day here. And yes, even your weeds are lovely:) Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Sweetbay!

  12. I love your sparkly images of sugarcane plumegrass, the goldenrod and seedheads. The golden hues of the roses and burgundy tones of the hydrangea are also lovely. Here the garden is pretty brown, grey and black. No white stuff yet! We seem destined for a white Christmas. Have a wonderful holiday Sweetbay and all the best for the new year!

  13. Rugosa foliage is so beautiful in the fall, thank you for the lovely pictures. Here we have had so much rain and wind, most of the leaves are gone :(. I love your little garden by the house, so different in each season, but always beautiful. Merry Christmas!


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