Forget the fact that I still have some cleanup to do outside. I am simply just not ready for the interruption of the beautiful fall color that I've been enjoying! Some things, like the Northern Sea Oats in the right side of this photo, will stay upright and add interest throughout the winter... but the Japanese maple in the background had just started to show off before the cold removed at least half of its shriveling leaves in the past week:
The oakleaf hydrangea leaves haven't even fully colored up yet, but they are already dry-edged and curling:
In front of the oakleaf, my blue sea kale leaves have stuck around so far--but eventually they will disappear beneath the mantle of winter. This one 'Blue Ice' amsonia colored up beautifully for me, but the other two--planted nearby and at the same time--are still mostly green tinged with a hint of yellow:
This entire front yard garden is easily the "busiest" of my gardens in terms of texture and color... especially fall color. I kind of feel like the garden should go out with a bang in any Northern garden, to help carry us through the coming winter. And I feel like my "public face" front yard garden should be especially vibrant.
I also feel that the gardener/photographer needs to learn not to lean her head to the side when she's taking these long-view pictures:
Heading back to the porch, I notice that one spray of Nothern Sea Oats has draped itself over the littleleaf sage. Purple, golden, and different varieties of regular culinary sages like this one figure heavily into this mostly drought tolerant and easy-care front garden. I use them for cooking, and they look good in the snow:
Inside, the tender plants are huddled in sunny areas, packed in tightly. In the light of this South-facing leaded glass window on my stair landing, from left to right, you see black bamboo, a passalong Thanksgiving cactus, and a phormium underplanted with 'Lemon Coral' sedum:
That sedum, which looks like a softer version of 'Angelina,' is supposedly only hardy to zone 7. But I'm wondering if they just haven't tested it in zone 6 and colder yet, so I'm going to plant a division of it outside next year in the spring and take my chances.
Over near the antique mirror that I have to get hung up, and the old White sewing machine and cabinet that needs to be dusted, are a quieter mix of plants. (Both the mirror and the cabinet are trashpicking finds, by the way.) This area hosts a larger purple-leaf begonia and 'Lime Rickey' heuchera combo, and purple heart in addition to the black-leaf begonia and silver-streaked snake plant seen here:
But there's enough quiet and lack of color on the way in the next few months, so I'm going to end with a close-up of the passalong Thanksgiving cactus. It came from one of my former coworkers who is now retired, and is planted in an old iron birdbath that I was given as a housewarming present by one of my fellow setters on a co-ed volleyball team. The "mulch" is a collection of seashells and a rose rock:
The blooms are so bright and cheery that they seem oblivious to the cold and snow outside, don't they? Time to make the rest of the house feel the same... it looks like it's shaping up to be a long winter.