African Garden + time

Frost and the Autumn Garden

It's amazing what a difference a little cold weather and frost can make on the colors in the Autumn garden. Finally, all the plants that were waiting for cold weather are turning. This is one of those nifty plants that garden writers describe as "underused."

It is the native Gillenia trifoliata. It blooms in Spring with small white flowers, has healthy green foliage all Summer, and then ends up like this before drying out. Another plant that turns orange (surprisingly) is the dark-foliaged Actaea/Cimicifuga 'Black Negligee.'

Behind it is a Hosta that has finally turned yellow.

The Witchhazel (Hammamelis 'Sunburst'), behind the Geranium maculatum and the Hostas, has just started turning yellow and orange. Usually its Fall color accompanies the Geranium, but I fear that this year the Geranium will be a dried, faded mess by the time the Witchhazel color peaks.

By contrast, the dark-leaved Smokebush, Cotinus coggygria 'Nordine' is already at peak color.

I just had to get a shot of the back-lit leaf color. 'Nordine' is the hardiest of the dark-foliaged Smokebushes; I got it at a sale at the Morton Arboretum.

Not as dark as the Smokebush, this Dogwood adds depth to the Autumn garden.

It is 'Aurora,' one of the Rutgers University hybrids (Cornus x rutgersensis 'Rutban'). Still too immature to bloom, it came from the same sale as the Smokebush.

The Magnolia's Fall show is right on schedule. It came with the house, so I don't know what cultivar of Magnolia stellata it is.

This is the view from my living room. Every November, the room is filled with golden light.

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Frost and the Autumn Garden + time