Fall foliage, berries, and a few blooms too…

How I could completely miss both October Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-up is beyond my comprehension. When I finally realized it, and wandered out back to survey the garden, I realized I had indeed missed a bunch of things out there, too. This working thing is going to take some getting used to…

Much of it looked the same, but there were a few highlights:

What looked like this a few weeks ago...

What looked like this a few weeks ago…

...now looked like this! I really hadn't expected to see it in bloom until next year, so it made me happy. This is the Cautleya spicata 'Robusta' - brought back from Far Reaches Farm back in September.

…now looked like this! I really hadn’t expected to see it in bloom until next year, so it made me happy. This is the Cautleya spicata ‘Robusta’ I brought back from Far Reaches Farm back in September.

The Stewartia in the front as it started to turn - also a couple of weeks ago -...

The Stewartia in the front as it started to turn – also a couple of weeks ago -…

...is now completely red. Asters and a Burning Bush ablaze in the background.

…is now completely red. Asters and a Burning Bush ablaze in the background.

The red leaves of the Euonymus are almost exactly the same color...

The red leaves of the Euonymus are almost exactly the same color…

... as the nearby Fuchsia magellanica.

… as the nearby Fuchsia magellanica.

The Fuchsias in general , are real workhorses. They just keep going, and going, and going.

The Fuchsias in general , are real workhorses. They just keep going, and going, and going.

And another one.

And another one.

I learned from Michelle at Jockey Hill Nursery (who grows a lot of hardy fuchsias) that the flowers of Fatsia japonica provide food for the hummingbirds during the winter. That made me very happy!

I learned from Michelle at Jockey Hill Nursery (who grows a lot of hardy fuchsias) that the flowers of Fatsia japonica provide food for the hummingbirds during the winter. That made me very happy!

The flowers aren't quite open yet, but I was admiring the gnarly, interesting forms of the flowers to be.

The emerging flowers aren’t quite open yet, but I was admiring the gnarly, interesting forms of the flowers to be.

As I walked into the back yard, I saw  that the flowers of the Fatshedera - a cross between Fatsia and ivy are already out. With those and the fuchsias, there should still be plenty for the hummers to snack on.

As I walked into the back yard, I saw that the flowers of the Fatshedera – a cross between Fatsia and ivy are already out. With those and the fuchsias, there should still be plenty for the hummers to snack on.

They look so pretty - both in bud, and in bloom.

They look so pretty – both in bud and in bloom.

The color of the flowers of Miscanthus zebrinus is wonderful!

The color of the flowers of Miscanthus zebrinus is wonderful!

I love these soft tassels too. Too bad it's an annual...

I love these soft tassels too. Too bad it’s an annual…

The long strappy leaves of the Pennisetum 'Vertigo' contrasts nicely with the Colocasia - which I didn't think was even alive when I tossed the mushy, over-wintered corms into the bed back in spring. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Can you believe there is actually a small Enchianthus smothered behind it?

The long strappy leaves of the Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ contrasts nicely with the Colocasia – which I didn’t think was even alive when I tossed the mushy, over-wintered corms into the bed back in spring. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Can you believe there is actually a small Enchianthus smothered behind it? Oh well, come first hard frost, and it will have been avenged.

Chocolate Cosmos against a baby Echium and the dark leaves of a Canna lily.

Chocolate Cosmos against a baby Echium and the dark leaves of a Canna lily. Why are reds so hard to photograph? Only a couple of those Cosmos actually appear as in real life…

One of the last roses of the Etoile de Hollande.

One of the last roses of the Etoile de Hollande…

...and the last petals of the 'Hot Cocoa' rose resting peacefully on a bed of juniper.

…and the last petals of the ‘Hot Cocoa’ rose resting peacefully on a bed of juniper.

The leaves of the Comptonia peregrina 'Sweet Fern' are starting to turn burgundy. Like the Cautleya, this was another find from the WeHoP trip - blessed be its memory.

The leaves of the Comptonia peregrina ‘Sweet Fern’ are starting to turn burgundy. Like the Cautleya, this was another find from the WeHoP trip – blessed be its memory.

So was the Polygonatum verticillatum. I wonder what the flower looks like? So far, I only know its berries, but truth be told - that is what sold me on it. They are so cool!

So was the Polygonatum verticillatum. I wonder what the flower looks like? So far, I only know its berries, but truth be told – that is what sold me on it. They are so unusual!

It looks like the wilted Salvia 'Amistad' I rescued off the salvage rack at Lowes is recovering nicely.

It looks like the wilted Salvia ‘Amistad’ I rescued off the salvage rack at Lowes is recovering nicely.

I always look forward to the orange berries of Iris foetida - Stinking Iris. They light up the shady spot where it grows quite well.

I always look forward to the orange berries of Iris foetida – Stinking Iris. They light up the shady spot under the giant Magnolia tree where it grows, quite well.

My Edgewarthia has set buds. I hear we're headed for a cold winter . This year I will try to protect it. Every other cold winter we've had, I've taken a chance that it would be okay. I learned the hard way that it was just fine - except the buds froze, so it never bloomed. After last year's mild winter, it was covered in fabulously fragrant flowers for weeks on end. No more pushing the envelope for me on this one - it is well worth protecting!

My Edgewarthia has set buds. I hear we’re headed for a cold winter . This year I will try to protect it. Every other cold winter we’ve had, I’ve taken a chance that it would be okay. I learned the hard way that it was essentially just fine – except the buds froze, so it never bloomed. After last year’s mild winter, it was covered in fabulously fragrant flowers for weeks on end. No more pushing the envelope for me on this one – it is well worth protecting!

More buds...

More buds…

I like the contrast between Choysia ternata 'Sundance' and my beloved Iris confusa. Can you see why I love it so much?

I like the contrast between Choysia ternata ‘Sundance’ and my beloved Iris confusa. Can you see why I love it so much?

I guess I can't really call them 'seed heads', as there are no seeds on them, but the skeletal remains of Agapanthus 'Storm Cloud' look pretty good to me.

I guess I can’t really call them ‘seed heads’, as there are no seeds on them, but the skeletal remains of Agapanthus ‘Storm Cloud’ look pretty good to me.

The leaves of Vitis purpurea take on a marvelous glow this time of year.

The leaves of Vitis purpurea take on a marvelous glow this time of year.

The massive seed head of a carelessly tossed Allium shubertii makes a pretty interesting pairing with a New Zealand flax. I wonder how long it takes for one of those seeds to grow into something that gigantic?

The massive seed head of a carelessly tossed Allium shubertii makes a pretty interesting pairing with a New Zealand flax. I wonder how long it takes for one of its seeds to grow into something that gigantic?

My baby Callicarpa sports a few berries this year - a very welcome sight against that bland, anemic siding of ours. One of these days, either it comes off, or we move - I swear!

My baby Callicarpa sports a few berries this year – a very welcome sight against that bland, anemic siding of ours. One of these days, either it comes off, or we move – I swear!

When the maple is green, one doesn't really notice the similarity of the leaves with the Rubus lineatus, but as soon as they turn - POW! This was a new discovery for me, and I'm quite intrigued by it. A landscape architect I work with remarked on how fond I seem to be of palmate leaves. I guess he's right.

When the maple is green, one doesn’t really notice the similarity of the leaf shape with the Rubus lineatus, but as soon as they turn – POW! This discovery just registered with me, and I’m quite intrigued by it. A landscape architect I work with recently remarked on how fond I seem to be of palmate leaves. I guess he’s right.

Looking back on this post, I realize that most everything in it features some kind of red. For hopefully more variety, jump over to our wonderful hosts Carol at May Dreams Gardens and Pam at Digging to see and get inspired by what’s growing in other gardens around the planet.

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About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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10 Responses to Fall foliage, berries, and a few blooms too…

  1. Alison says:

    I love palmate leaves too. I wonder what it is about them that appeals to us? You’ve highlighted some interesting plants in this post. Your shot of the Iris confusa under the Choysia reminds me of Hakone grass foliage, but much wider. It has that same drapey effect.

    • annamadeit says:

      You are exactly right – it is that drapey habit that is so seductive. Did you ever get a start of it from me? If you want one, just let me know. About the palmate leaves – it is definitely an unexplained phenomenon. Maybe it is the allure of the foreign… You know, a cold-hardy Swede dreaming of the tropical paradise-kind of thing?

  2. Scott Weber says:

    Beautiful Autumn foliage! Stewartia is one of those trees I don’t even think I’d recognize for most of the year…but once they turn in fall, I just adore them!

    • annamadeit says:

      You’re right – they are fairly non-descript when they aren’t in bloom. I saw a tree very much like it – in full, glorious bloom – long after the Stewartia had ceased flowering. For the life of me I couldn’t figure it out, but then our Outlaw friend Peter mentioned its existence in one of his blogs, and the mystery was solved. It turned out to be another small tree called Franklinia. Friends of Trees had planted a whole row of them along Vancouver Ave. It is STILL blooming! I learned from Peter that they are a PNW native tree, now extinct in the wild, but available for cultivation. Except when that fiery red rolls around, I almost wish I had known about them before I bought a Stewartia. But right now, it surely earns its keep!

  3. That Cautleya spicata ‘Robusta’ is a keeper for sure, and the leaves of the Comptonia peregrina ‘Sweet Fern’ are pretty, well, sweet! Your garden is looking lovely for sure! BTW that photo you took at Heronswood, the plant I fell in love with, it’s a peach! A dwarf ornamental peach. No source so far.

  4. Ricki Grady says:

    I was empathizing with the difficulty of photographing red, but then you followed up with some pretty swell shots of Etoile de Holland and Vitus. Now why did I cut off the spent flower stalks of my Agapanthus?

  5. Pam/Digging says:

    That Stewartia is swoon worthy in its autumn glory, especially with the contrast of the purple asters behind them. Great foliage pics. Thanks for taking the time to join in!

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