Sunday, October 22

Energetic Fall Color

It's getting down into the 30s overnight again this week, but there is still a lot of color in my garden. My 'Vodka' wax begonias are still going strong, as are the tiny blue flowers of the borage. A handful of nasturtiums, pathetically down to just a set or two of leaves, are still sporting multiple bright red flowers. 'Paprika' yarrow is blooming, and so is one of my two 'Matrona' sedums.

Grasses are flaunting a range of color from buff to dark red, and the spears of Siberian iris foliage are turning bright yellow. Most of fall's color seems to be warm and tonal, but there are a few more energetic combinations in my yard as well.

The 'Flashback' mixed calendula that I whacked back to one set of leaves in early September is adding apricot and bright orange shades to an area of garden that also sports the bright red foliage of fall blueberry bushes and 'Dragon's Blood' sedum, bright silver 'Newe Ya'ar' salvia, and the bold 'Rhubard' chard.

On the other end of the hot/cold color spectrum, electric-yellow tones of an unnamed hosta provide a shocking contrast to the silver foliage of 'Powis Castle' artemisia and the cool purple of the small 'Regina' heuchera. The tan fallen leaves of the neighbor's beech tone down the wattage, but just slightly so. This is not a combination that I would want to see in my garden year-round, quite frankly, but at this point in autumn it's knocking me out in a good way!


Anonymous said...

We can't grow hostas in Austin, but I thought they preferred shady, moist locations. And yet yours seems happy next to sun-loving, dry-footed artemesia. How does that work in your garden? In any case, it is an unusual color combination.

Philosophical Karen said...

There is a lot of yellow in my garden at this time of year. Love your photos. (Would have liked to see the heuchera in the second picture.)

Philosophical Karen said...

Oh, hold on, I enlarged the photo and realized the heuchera is there, very small behind the hosta leaves in in the middle of the photo. It's early and I haven't had enough caffeine yet. ;-)

Unknown said...

Pam/Digging, the artemisia is a little bit of an experiment. It's placed against a chain link fence on the east end of my property where it receives sun for most of the morning, is shaded by the neighbor's beech midday, and then gets sun again for the last couple hours before sunset. I have a whole bunch of it and I moved a few plants there to see if the reduced sunlight in that spot can help keep it in bounds without killing it.

I've actually found hostas to be pretty drought-tolerant once they're established, by the way--especially if they're planted in shade. I do mulch them heavily, however, where the artemisia is one of the few plants in my garden that gets no mulch.

Karen the poor little heuchera is drowning in beech leaves, isn't it?! I plan to rake out some of those leaves today and mulch them with the mower so nothing smothers. :) On the other side of the hosta, against the fence, there are a couple of hybrid lobelia cardinalis with red-purple foliage--and in front of that is 'Crow Feather' tiarella that is just starting to take on its autumn jewel-tones, too. I wish I could have gotten them in the picture as well but it just wasn't happening.

Jenn said...

I love the Calendula Flashback - I was surprised to see it continue to bloom after being covered in an early snowfall. Definately planting this again next year!

Unknown said...

Jenn, the fact that it's blooming so late again has me torn. I loved it in the spring, and then hated it in the late summer when the foliage got all ratty and the aphids found it. At that point, I whacked it way back and decided that I was never planting it again. Now that it looks so good again, though, I'm reconsidering! Did you have a love/hate relationship with it, too, or are you more consistent than I am?!

lisa said...

LOVE that calendula! I get frustrated with some of my plants too...sometimes I'll set out a planter of annuals to hide something that's gotten ugly enough. Amazing how well some plants respond to a good whacking!

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