Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Color In Tiger Gardens and the Upper Middle Tennessee Area

From In the Garden

Dave at The Home Garden hosts a Garden Blogger Fall Color Project showcasing fall color from garden bloggers all over the world. This is my contribution to the mix. I am highlighting upper Middle Tennessee fall color mainly in my garden unless otherwise noted.

Fall color in my garden starts with the wonderful camellias. I can't get enough of them! Most of my camellias are Camellia sasanquas. Some bloom in early to late fall and even early
winter, while others bloom in late winter to early spring. This particular one is 'Jean May' and she blooms faithfully each year. I plan a post highlighting her many qualities. Directly behind 'Jean' is a 'Sango Kaku' coral bark maple. The two make a wonderful combination. I happen to be one of those people who like yellow with pink so if you are not, you'll not like it. But I forgive you:) I also included a long shot of this northern end of my home. This is one garden I consider a foundation planting. Here is the plant material (starting with the brown foliage on the far left): sensitive fern (already brown due to a frost), 'Maresii' variegated hydrangea, 'Compacta' holly, 'Jean May' camellia, PG hydrangea, 'Sango Kaku' Japanese maple, and finally you can see just a bit of the yellow foliage of 'Mt. Airy' viburnum.
While my garden has tons of oak trees and a few maples and even a few bits of color most of the oak trees in my garden and in the surrounding area simply turn a dull brown/gold and fall off. The oaks predominantly do not color up nicely. Sigh. I have to look outside of my garden for some lovely fall color sometimes. Here is a shot of 'Bradford Pears' at our local Wal-mart. Whatever you may say about Bradford Pears you can never say they do not have wonderful fall color. As a bonus their leaves last a long time. I do not grow these in my garden but do love the vivid red.
My new serviceberry is earning its keep. Though I was not fast enough to eat any of the berries, I am enjoying its orangey color and specifically sited it so that the evergreen cedar tree would set off the color.
I couldn't resist adding in a shot of my neighbor's two horses. Meet Roz (white lady) and Sassy (brown lady). They are a lovely part of any season here. If you look around them you will see mainly oak trees. Can you see any color other than brown? Our oak trees in my area mainly turn brownish gold then drop the leaves. The view is dull at best so the horses help to spice it up a bit.
Here is a dogwood along my road in front of my home. I love reds in the garden and you can't beat dogwoods for some good color in the fall in this area. This is one of my favorite vignettes in my own garden. I actually planned this view in advance by taking advantage of the fall color of these two small trees. The orange tree in the foreground is a Korean Maple, the bright yellow tree in the background is a new purchase called Two Winged Silverbell (Halesia diptera magniflora). The clear yellow is most welcomed here. You can just make out the problem tree stump to the left of the two winged silverbell. It will slowly rot and add great organic matter into the soil. A post on problem trees will come up next week. Here is a close up of the Korean maple. This maple is a good substitute for Japanese maples in cold climates. I purchased this little tree from Don Shadows nursery last May so it has been in my garden about 18 months now. I really enjoy its orange color that glows. As it gets bigger the coloring is getting stronger. One last picture to leave you with. Seeing as how hydrangeas are my favorite shrub I could not leave this post without getting a picture of one or two as well. The Hydrangea paniculata (aka PeeGee) hydrangeas turn a lovely yellow in the fall. They are very sunny in the garden. The red shrub behind it is a burning bush (Euonymous alata). This is not a shrub I would plant today but when I planted it six years ago it seemed like a good idea. I do like the shrub as a whole but don't like its invasive tendency to self seed prolifically. Hostas are also yellowing up in the garden and are the groundcover mixed in with the PG hydrangeas above.

That's it for fall color here at Tiger Gardens and the surrounding upper Middle Tennessee community I live in. There is more of course. It seems like fall color has popped out all over this area overnight. On the way back from Nashville along Interstate 24 I was truly amazed at all the color we have going on here. I was thinking it would not be so colorful due to the warm weather and rains we've had but I was wrong. Hickories, sourwoods, sweetgums, maples, some oaks, dogwoods, tulip poplars, and many more shrubs are simply glorious! It is wonderful this year all around Tennessee. I hope fall is bright and colorful where ever you are located too.

in the garden....


  1. Beautiful color! I missed alot of ours, it seems like I turned around and it was gone.

  2. Tina, I love your new trees! A silverbell, Juneberry and that Korean Maple! You lucky Master gardener! It does seem as if overnight the world changed to golden yellows and fantastic oranges. I have some great shots of my favorite areas to showcase for Dave's Color Project, too. Later this week! The rain washed out my trips to fairegarden~~two different trips were scheduled! So, I am here this week if you want to meet for coffee! gail

  3. That's a nice collection of fall color. I agree with you on the pears, they are under appreciated for their fall color. The are still very green here. You are fortunate to have a maple with a Shadow pedigree.

  4. First ... I wish I could meet up for a coffee TOO !! whaaaaaa !
    OK .. enough of that .. I love that you are happy with your Serviceberry too girl ! Our little skinny guy/gal ? had a beautiful leaf change even though there were not a lot to see : )
    I am VERY interested in this Korean Maple .. I have to haul out my old lilac and I have been trying to figure out what to put in that corner (gets lots of sun) to screen off my goofy neighor and look gorgeous at the same time .. tree, not neighbor ? LOL

  5. Your fall color is really nice Tina. The leaves are just starting to turn here. Your pink and yellow combination needs to have another plant....Spirea japonica --either 'Goldflame' (my favorite)or 'Goldmound'. Both have yellow foliage with pink blooms. Goldflame also has a tinge of red/orange on the tips of the leaves. As the season progresses they turn a bit green, but then in the fall----bright red!!!

  6. Great stuff Tina! I really like that Korean maple. I need to take a trip to visit Don Shadow's nursery someday. If you could somehow hollow out the center of that stump it would make a great planter!

  7. Good morning Tina. You won't hear me saying anything negative about bradford pears or pink and yellow;) While the oaks don't turn vivid colors, up here they do hang onto their leaves much longer than other deciduous trees. That warm tan looks nice among the reds, golds, greens and yellows too.

    I like the foundation planting very much. The contrasting foliage and random heights look natural.

  8. Tina,
    What a treat to see all those beautiful fall foliage colors. I am looking out the window at huge amounts of snow. My kids have a snow day . First one of the year. They are excited! THanks for sharing all these nice photos!

  9. Hi Tina, I so envy your Camellia, it looks lovely and so healthy too. A good green offset to the PeeGee. Our color post is going up next week, it did seem to turn to brilliant overnight! Your serviceberry is such a delight, and so is the Korean maple. Our Japanese maples are the stars of the trees, followed by the nearly done dogwoods. Viburnums haven't even started turning yet. TN is beautiful all year, but fall is fantastic! :-)

  10. Wow- the fall colors are certainly being kind to you. Our colors were amazing and now they can be found covering every bare spot on the ground.

  11. Good morning all!

    Dawn, The leaves go fast up there. Here they hang on forever but turned literally overnight.

    Gail, Not so lucky-just a smart gardener who knows what she wants:) I am handpicking those trees because they have to compete with a very full canopy. They are wonderful too. Come on up and see them and I'll make you some coffee-the good German stuff.

    Les, Those Bradfords are wonderful in the fall. I can't believe how long their leaves hang on too. You guys must be a bit warmer than us but watch for them to turn overnight. That is what happened here.

    Joy, I've posted on the Korean maple. It is supposed to be a good replacement for Japanese maples. I tell you I am very much in love with mine. I just wish it would grow faster. The orange and small size of it works wonders. It just might be a good replacement for your lilac. Though lilacs are most wonderful.

    Janet, I love the spiraeas and have both of these cultivars. If I put one in this area though it would never get sun. I do have goldmound close by on this side of the house though. Glad you like pink and yellow. I only mentioned the combo because my landscape design instructor and most of my classmates do NOT like it. I don't get it.

    Dave, The Shadow nursery is a dream. You are very close too. The next time our group goes I'll let you know and you can meet us there? My eyes first locked on this Korean maple because it looked so much like a J. maple but was different. There is a wide variety of plants there for sure.

    Marnie, The oaks can be disappointing in their color but the leaves hanging on is very nice for sure. Glad you like my foundation planting. This is a favored area of mine all year long. That camellia started as a one foot tall plant six years ago. I can't get enough of it. The left side of this planting pretty much mirrors this side but that camellia blooms in the spring.

    Rosey, Time to get the sleds out and make some hot chocolate! What fun!

    Frances, The color popped out overnight here. I was stunned noticing it all because I thought fall would be a wash out. It has been splendid!

  12. Heather, Sounds like it is time to rake the yard:) Gotta love fall-free mulch!

  13. Not much fall color around here. Yours are lovely....I love any Camellia! I also am one of the few that love Bradford Pear Trees as well!!

  14. Hi Tina -nice fall colors in your pictures. Over by 24 it is beautiful with color -the kids love to check out the colors on the trees when we walk -really a nice year. Have a super day -off to school with two small people:) Ciao

  15. Darla, those camellias are so awesome. I'm like you-love them all.

    Anonymous, The color here has been outstanding. I can't believe how it popped out overnight. At least it seems that way. Fall is such a lovely time of the year.

  16. When we drove up to TN last Friday, it was dark so we did not see much color. Boy was driving back to GA during the day a treat! The mountain (Mont-Eagle)was georgeous as was the drive from Clarksville to Nashville! I could not enjoy too much of the beauty as I was driving, sigh. It is fun to watch how the colors slack off with getting back to GA as we are in another zone. We are really starting to see color here now though. We had 2 inches of rain yesterday so too soggy to go to my favorite place (The dam) to look for color but I will get there at some point....

    I spotted several spots along the interstate that were full of the Burning bushes and they were awesome to say the least! I now want one!!!

    I must get back to house guests now....

  17. Hi Tina, Thanks for letting me know about Dave's fall color project, earlier! I like the horses. And I never ID camellias right off the bat, because they're one zone too warm for me. At first I thought, WOW!, those Japanese anemone are HUGE! And WOODY... wait, what?! LOL!

  18. Very nice! I wouldn't much to show Dave! He would be disappointed with my fall colors! LOL!!! I know it is so beautiful up there this time of the year!

    Have a good day! I hope Bilbo will come and visit you soon!

  19. It does look very pretty. I really love the Korean maple and it's color. Your Camellia looks so pretty covered in flowers. How nice to have fresh flowers this time of year!

  20. Thanks for reminding me about Dave’s fall color. Definitely worth several visits. I enjoyed learning about the trees while admiring the foliage on your post. The Korean Maple has such interesting leaves. I shall enjoy watching it grow on your blog. Lovely!

  21. Skeeter, The drive between here and Nashville is SO awesome! Stay dry!

    Monica, You bet! Boy now Japanese anemones 10 feet tall would be a sight!

    DP, I keep commenting but so far no luck:( But eventually I'm sure he'll get around to here-I hope so!

    Mom, I enjoy fall so much. I bet those maples up there are great. And how is your J. maple coloring up? Mine are not doing much:(

    Catherine, That camellia is so awesome! It will probably still be blooming come Thanksgiving. The flowers are nice to cut and float in a bowl of water but I usually just look at them outside.

    Sarah, Yup, it is that time of the year again and I for one can't believe it! I am already thinking Christmas and need to get some packages together soon or before we know it will be here!

  22. Foliage this beautiful should be worshipped. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  23. Tina, lovely post as usual. Goodness, how I wish that I had neighbors that had horses. At the farm we had 2 horses, a Tennessee walker(Magic) and a Quarter horse(Babe). I always loved to ride them. I was thinking about getting a service berry tree in my yard. But I don't have the money for it at the moment. So maybe next year... I do love the berries! I wrote a post about it... check it out on my blog, just search service berries.

  24. I love your beautiful fall colors Tina and the camellias. So jealous of those! I've been trying to find room for a serviceberry in my yard. I think the birds would thank me and it sounds like they enjoyed yours. My oak does much the same as yours but at least the leaves hang on a long time. Enjoy the beauty around you ~ it's heavenly.

  25. Tina, I envy you your Halesia -- have wanted one ever since I learned of their existence. Lovely foliage on the Korean maple, too.

  26. Loved the photos, Tina! What amazing views! Your camellias are to die for!!!

  27. You have some beautiful examples of fall glory in your garden Tina. I love those Camelia blooms. :)

  28. I did a double take when I saw the Camellia in flower - I hadn't realised there were some that flowered so early - always good to learn something new!
    What colour are the horses in Spring :-)

  29. You have some awesome color in your garden Tina. Loved every pic.
    I have a camellia but it don't bloom till Jan. It looked funny back in the Spring but it has recovered & looks great.
    I still need to pick my gourds. Roses still blooming. Iris is slowly fading.
    I noticed today going & coming back from G'ville that we don't have the color yet. Sycamores are turning a little brownish yellow. Like the oak there it's a dull color.
    My oak's leaves are so small you can't see anything. It slowly looses it's leaves around the end of Jan. but it is producing new ones at the same time.

  30. ACIL, Thanks!

    Zach, Horses are wonderful-in other folks yards:) I'll check your post on serviceberries soon but it is almost time for my computer to go off for the night-so tomorrow.

    Kathleen, The birds would love you indeed if you could find a small spot for a serviceberry. I read they are good street trees.

    Helen, This is a new halesia and one a bit different than the carolina one. I can't wait until spring.

    Kanak, I feel the same way with those camellias for sure.

    Racquel, Thanks-you too!

    EG, Why those horses will be horses of a different color of course of course...

    Lola, So great your camelia has recovered. Blooms in winter-can't beat that!

  31. Your gardens are beautiful this time of year Tina. I'm enjoying looking at everyone elses while mine sits in shambles and I worry about it! Hopefully I'll be feeling better and can still get a little done before the cold weather hits.

  32. Lucky you, a Silverbell, how nice!! The pink Camellia is gorgeous.

  33. Great post, Tina. You have very nice gardens full of lovely colors.
    We didn't get the long autumn weather we're used to out here. The rains came too soon and warmed everything up. So our color is spotty at best. Oh well. Next year!

  34. I like your assortment of trees and bushes. You do have some beautiful colors there!

  35. Thank you for the fall colors! We just lost our spring colors as we move into full-on summer, and it's nice to see fall for a change.

  36. Beautiful fall color, Tina! I'm a little behind on things this year--between the rain and now a case of the flu that's kept me on the couch the past two days, I didn't get many good photos of the trees in full color. Our leaves are already beginning to fall from the trees, so I'm probably too late to join in. Love that Korean maple!

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  38. Hello tina,

    Fantastic! I love to see your beautiful fall color! How charming the Korean Maple and dogwood leaves! The orange color and shapes of the maple enchant me. My hydrangeas have not turned color yet. The leaves are still greeeeeen! What's wrong with them? I wonder.... Thank you for sharing!

  39. I'm thinking about planting a serviceberry next year, but like you, I doubt that I'll see any of the berries! I'm going for beauty here. Your hydranges are lovely in fall too. Mine tiny little Endless Summer is blooming like crazy, but the foliage looks horrible. I hope next year it comes back bigger and stronger!

  40. I'm thinking about planting a serviceberry next year, but like you, I doubt that I'll see any of the berries! I'm going for beauty here. Your hydranges are lovely in fall too. Mine tiny little Endless Summer is blooming like crazy, but the foliage looks horrible. I hope next year it comes back bigger and stronger!