Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall is a Wonderful Time In the Garden

Fall is probably my favorite season of the year. All of the plants are full and lush (providing they survived the ravages of summer), the leaves on the trees are beginning to change, usually the rains have returned, the smell of nature is in the air and it is just a great time to be in the garden. Spring just can't compare with fall and all of its fullness and ripeness-and even color. Here are some pictures from my gardens so you'll see why I like fall so much and spend as much time as is possible in the garden. I always like to concentrate on how full the gardens become this time of the year (read no room for weeds!)

The above mums are located in my Rear Sidewalk Garden. All year long these mums sit incognito only to burst through as a pot of gold in the fall.
Asters and mums make a great combination. You just cannot beat these two very fine plants for the fall garden. Both are drought tolerant and reliable bloomers. If you pick your mums right you can have blooms from August through December in Middle Tennessee!!
More mums in the Front Center Garden. These mums simply glow a bright pumpkiny orange when the sun hits them just right.
Here we are standing behind the Redbud Garden (part of the concrete patio area) looking toward the house. The combination of mums and grasses is a good combination even though neither of these plants are located in the same garden. I always consider long distance views and this one just happened to work out for me. We are looking west and when that setting sun hits the grasses it is magical.
'Chocolate' eupatorium is stunning this year. This is more of a wildflower than a cultivated perennial. It will self seed itself around quite a bit. I don't mind because its dark purple foliage in the spring and bright white blooms in the fall brighten shady and sunny gardens alike. This bunch is growing in pretty much full shade in a very dry soil and still it does well. Gotta love tough plants like these!
Here we see three colors of mums (yellow, lavender, and red) with a huge group of yellow button mums (not yet in bloom-bud stage only) in the background. The yellow button mums are late bloomers and I have actually had them bloom in December in my gardens. They are wonderful! The red, purple, and yellow mums in the foreground are smaller florists mums. These florist mums tend to stay more compact but are just as floriferous and stunning as the yellow button mums.
The berries on 'Brilliantissima' chokeberry add to the excitement. This new shrub is located near a large crabapple. The blue jays, mockingbirds, bluebirds, and robins are all busy feeding on the berries and crabapples.
Now to the backyard and the Sunny Perennial Border (bordering the potager). This large aster (most likely 'October Skies') has so many flowers you can't see the foliage. The butterflies are going nuts in this area. The pineapple sage (red spiky blooms), lantana (orange blooms), and zinnias only add to the excitement for butterflies, bees, and birds alike. Fall is Mother Nature's last hurrah before the big winter chill sets in and wow is it ever a show.
The angel trumpets are very late this year. The first blooms showed up on October 14th in my Tennessee garden. Skeeter also mentioned in her Acorn post that her trumpets were late this year. My friend Geri also told me her very large white angel trumpet just began blooming; which is quite late for her. I was thinking I saw a pattern that angel trumpets were very late this year when at the PPSMT meeting this past Tuesday the speaker said her trumpets had been in bloom since July. So much for my pattern. This orange one of mine was planted out as a cutting in the spring and has only just begun blooming on the 14th. The fragrance is great. It is a lucky day for it to bloom too because if it did not I was not planning to take cuttings into the greenhouse. My angel trumpets never winter over for me so in order to have them each year I must take cuttings and winter them over in the greenhouse. I suppose I could dig this plant up but it would take up way too much room and cuttings work out better for me.
Fall is also special because we have a special visitor this year. This guy here is my mother's younger brother and I call him Uncle Rick. He is visiting us from Florida for the entire month of October while his wife visits Okinawa. I lived with my uncle when I was a senior in high school and for a few years afterward. We lived together even when I had my twin daughters with me. My uncle helped me to get on my feet when I was very young and fresh out of high school. Having family that will help you out is a gift indeed.

We lived in Fayetteville North Carolina; which is of course the home of the famed 82nd Airborne Division. My uncle was a paratrooper soldier who served in the artillery section of the Army. At one time (late 80s early 90s) we were both stationed at Fort Bragg. Then the Gulf War kicked off in August of 1990 (actually it was not war at that point and was known as Desert Shield) and my uncle retired and moved to Florida. Having served two tours in Vietnam and ready for retirement my uncle was very ready to retire. Me, I went to Saudi for six months to help with the war effort.

Now, twenty years later, we are presently in the Clarksville Tennessee area; which is the home of the famed Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division. My uncle served with the 101st during his first tour in Vietnam. As such I thought it only appropriate we go and visit the division headquarters. And who should we see at the Division Headquarters but a Screaming Eagle paratrooper himself-parachuting right into the headquarters building.

One last reason I like the fall so much is because the camellias begin blooming. I have two shrubs in full bloom with these splendid pink blooms and they are really putting on a show. It is such a shame they do not have a scent though. 

I hope fall is spectacular in your neck of the woods....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Oh Tina, I can see why you love your fall gardens! My Brug has been blooming since spring, sorry about your pattern, :) The tall yellow mums that you so generously shared with me are getting ready to bloom!

  2. Good morning Darla, I had forgotten I sent you some of those mums. They are an awesome bunch here so I hope you like them too.

  3. Hi Tina - you hava a very pretty autumn garden there! The Chocolate eupatorium and chokeberries are my favourites :)

  4. Lovely blooms in your garden!Splash of dazzling colours in fall:).

  5. Tina, I can certainly see why fall is your favorite time in the garden--you have so much color and everything looks so full and lush. Your mums are all so pretty--do they come back every year?

    How nice to have your uncle visit you. He sounds like a great guy, and I'm sure he appreciates your hospitality as much as you appreciated his long ago.

  6. How awesome to have your Uncle with you for such a long period of time! Such a wonderful story of you two and how neat that you were both at Bragg at the same time!

    Your gardens are beautiful with color this time of year. I have 2 bargain mums purchased this past spring and they are really giving me a show now. I am getting more then my moneys worth! I must get out and snap a pic of them to share...

    The Angel Trumpet you passed along to me is now blooming! 3 months late and only 3 blooms thus far. Calling for possible frost tomorrow so I hope I dont loose her just yet as I want to enjoy more blooms. A shame they die out for you during the winter. I love them and thank you so much for introducing them into my life...

  7. Autumn is my favourite season as well, mainly because I so look forward to some rain. YOur asters are amazing, keep up the great work!

  8. Everything looks great. Fall is an amazing time but also sad as fall is also time to work on putting a garden to bed.

    Talking about Uncle Rick, Fayetteville and Desert Shield jogs my memory this morning. I was there at your house when Uncle Rick retired. I had flown down to get your children a couple of weeks before you left for the middle east. The kids and I drove back to Maine in your car. Brian was just 5 years old and started kindergarden here. He was and still is the quiet one but I went off the highway in Baltimore (to gas up) and he was impressed so much with the tall buildings he just kept sying over and over "Wait till I tell Mamma about this and this is where I am gonna live when I grow up". That day I drove straight thru to Connecticut, it was very late at night and we checked into a motel. Got up the next morning and checked out and the car would not start. It is Labor Day weekend! However I did get a guy from a garage to come and try to jump start me!! How lucky was that? That is until, he could not get it going. I call hubby and father. They say to check back in and they will come down. My father says to get a paper and check for sale items. Look for a flat bed. They get there and just for kick and giggles they put booster cables on it AND IT STARTS!!!!! Baba says to NOT shut it off. Check out of motel and head for Maine and do not shut it off. Kids are mad as they wanted to stay swimming in the pool. Oh boy did my driveway look good to me. Almost a brand new car but after the started was replace you drove it for quite a while and then I did. Memories......

  9. Yep, Fall is my favorite time in the garden too!
    Cool photos!

  10. You have a really great Gardening site Skeeter.

    When you have the time - check out this gardening related blog post - as I think you may be interested -

  11. You have a wonderful Fall garden. So lush & pretty.
    So glad your Uncle Rick is spending some time with you. Nothing like family.
    I sure like those asters. My mums are beginning to bloom. I do need to get them into the ground. The pot thing is getting old. lol

  12. I hadn't realized your family had such a long history of service. How nice to have your uncle visit. I'm sure he must have appreciated your garden and the museum.

  13. Hi Tina, I am not familiar with fall but its spectacular colors, so am amazed when still nice blooming flowers are still there. They seem to welcome a beloved member of the family. You should have devoted a post for your beloved Uncle Rick. I also loved the comment of another member of your family Jean above. It is beautiful having families living far apart to be together again.

  14. Your garden is looking great. All those mums!!!! Love that you have such a nice relationship with your uncle. What a guy. Enjoy the season.

  15. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous, Tina! I LOVE all the different mums and also the chokecherries were a particular favorite! I wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog. I do hope you will be able to visit Az one day! I want to say too that your Uncle Rick is awesome!!!! Not only for his care of you as his neice at times, but also for his extensive military service! Tell him thank you and welcome home from me and my husband!!! (My hubby is also a Viet Nam vet!) and thank you also, Tina for your service as well!

  16. The colors(lots of green).
    The air !!!!!!!
    Days get quite now and family comes closer...ah... love the 4 seasons.

  17. How wonderful that you are able to entertain your uncle for an extended time and partially repay him for what he did for you. I bet he is a wonderful man. My camellias are starting to bloom, and I am so excited.

  18. Everything looks beautiful, especially the Camelia. If I lived in a warmer climate I would get ones that flowered in spring and fall and were scented and unscented.

  19. Thanks all. My uncle checked in here and appreciates all of the sentiments. Life it good and the garden even better-no freeze or frost--yet!

  20. Tina I love the fall garden you is a great time to assess the garden and change things...your Uncle is wonderful and my Uncle Harry was career military...he was very special to me..

  21. Thank you for sharing your flowers and your memories. Your Uncle Rick sounds like a very special person.

    Take care.

  22. I have some lovely pumpkin orange mums in a pot I bought recently. Some people are really snobby about them here, but what a lovely bright show of colour at this time of year.Yours look great. Thanks for the tour. Glad you and your uncle are together to enjoy the garden.

  23. Hi Tina, I think I can understand why you like Fall so much. In one way we are lucky because we can garden all year round, but in another way we are unlucky because we don't get the dramatic differences you get between seasons. Enjoy this special fall with your uncle rick. cheers, catmint

  24. I love chokeberry--one of my favorite native shrubs. ALso love the chocolate eupatoria, but I have trouble with mine. I think it likes it wetter than I have. Same with Joe Pye weed. Both of these have been only one small clump for years, never reaching more than maybe 3 feet.