Monday, October 5, 2009

Adjusting to autumn

Sick as a dog since I got back home from Raleigh, I've been watching autumn unfold its glorious color and splendor outdoors and it was starting to become a little unbearable until I gained the energy to bundle up and sneak outside to capture some images of the season.

The cold temperatures really came without warning for me this fall and many of the plants I've waited all season to really start putting on a show are already beginning to dwindle and succumb to the forties and fifties at night. I have colleagues already starting to winter their tropical container plants. Am I just really behind? Has a whole season completely passed me by in the five days I've been gone? I think I'm just not ready for the season yet as I've been on this constant work mode where I never fully savored the summer.

These images should hold me over for awhile as I recover from the flu and adjust to autumn.

Dahlia WSD with Asters Dahlia 'Weston Spanish Dancer' is one of the most intensely colored of the cactus form dahlias and also one of the most prolific bloomers. It looks absolutely smashing with a pale violet Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, a New England Aster. As annuals begin to fade or set seed, color impact like this is crucial in the landscape to compliment the other color action taking place all around the landscape. If frost stays at bay, I will be enjoying this spectacular show for a few more weeks. A plant that will hold up to some light frosts is the bold and dramatic Euphorbia mellifera.

Euphorbia mellifera Tropical Bed comboNative to the Canary and Madeira Islands, this stunning plant can overwinter in a mild winter and keep its form, otherwise, it dies close to the ground to resprout the following spring. Seen here with Agapanthus, a Yucca and the fiery red blooms of Begonia boliviensis 'Bonfire' (one plant I will try to winter over in the ground), this plant absolutely stands out for its foliage alone. It supposedly flowers with honey-scented blooms, but I won't complain if they never appear.

Crocosmia inflorescence Allium Crocosmia Agapanthus

Crocosmia 'Emily McKenzie' is still blooming strong and looked gorgeous with Agapanthus 'Elaine' and the sparkling seedheads of Allium christophii.

Lily Stems Miscanthus Gilt Edge

Clear fall days illuminate the garden in such beautiful ways and these lilies (Lilium 'Scheherazade') and ornamental grass (Miscanthus 'Gilt Edge') caught my eye.

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