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