Friday, October 23, 2009

We've Got Color, Yes We Do

17 pics of the 2 year old fall garden. Though there are still many open spots on two sides, those will vanish next year. I'm happy with the color I'm seeing this fall--which is partly due to plants maturing, and partly due to the fact I picked some good specimans. I love myself. Sooooo much. (But let's not talk about the front garden, ok? I hate myself.)

I'm not going to show you maples (bright red) or willows (bright yellow). In fact, we need to praise the perennials and shrubbery (ni!), not the usual trees. I can't believe I just said that.

Oh and let me apologize for the mixture of quality. Some pics were taken by my point and shoot on a cloudy day, and others by my SLR on a sunny day--a fateful combo that makes the differences of both obvious to me.

Look at that 'Little Henry' itea with its bright red leaves on the lower right. Its big brother 'Henry's Garnet' is languishing beneath ironweed and eupatoriums and needs to get moved, but won't.

I love this shot. Aster 'October Skies' in front of 'Purple Dome', all in front of chokeberry 'Brilliantissima,' river birch, arbor, and way back 'Prairie Fire' crabapple in bright orange.

I was playing with the warping fence. Eh.

A cloudy day with the arbor shot. On the left some 'Isanti' dogwood is purpling, and on the right a delphinium is reblooming. Speaking of which, I have two 'Isanti': one grows like gangbusters (morning shade, moist clay) the other seems to be shrinking (partial sun, full sun afternoon, wet clay).

Fall crocus. Of course.

Eupatorium 'Prairie Jewel' seed heads. In sunlight, it's literally like snowfall.

Queen of the prairie seed heads. Lovely.

A view I don't often include because the back is so bare--which it won't be next year. No sir. On the left is an 'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry, very svelte. I'm also happy with the 'Red Feather' viburnum behind the bench. Even the slow-growing-non-blooming 'Blue Muffin' is yellow along the chain link fence. 'Blue Muffin' sucks by the way.

Now here's a nice view. I hope no one overlooks sedum for fall color. Bright yellows to red and orange. I don't remember what I have along the steppers, but they get very red and orange. The goldenrod along the right helps perk things up, as does the fabulous rust of the bald cypress. Toward the middle of the photo is a yellow purple coneflower--usually mine turn black, so this was wonderful. I enjoy the white tops of the Eupatorium 'Prairie Jewel' along the fence, too, for even more color. By the way, 'PJ' self seeds. I have a few starts all over my garden, but I imagine it'd be prolific in a field. Its spring leaves are bright mottled yellow and green, and in summer cream and green, and in fall the insects come in millions.

Another shot I don't often include. A few new additions here as I try to fill out the garden on two sides (the house in the background is new, too, alas). You can see the bright red black and red chokeberriy shrubs. Right next to them the mauve leaves of a ninebark, and behind it the yellow leaves of a 'ruby Spice' clethra. Fall color is the only reason Mr. Clethra is still in my garden.

Horse penis liatris. I mean, L. pycnostachya gone to "seed."

Miscanthus 'Nippon'--I believe that's the cultivar name. It's growing slowly in a spot too dry for it.

Close up of lovely 'Prarie Fire' crabapple leaves.

Oh look. A crabapple to beckon you from the street to the garden entrance. Now make like a tree and leave.

Red chokeberry berries, which will still be there in spring.

Nice texture and color I think!

Twilight over the neighbor's acreage. It's getting cold out there after 3.25" of rain in the last two days.


Charlotte Weychan said...

I'm impressed! This looks wonderful - you should be singing your own praises.

our friend Ben said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the tour.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What gorgeous pictures! Thanks for the beautiful eye candy.

Les said...

Do flamingos over-winter in Nebraska, or will it by flying souths soon?

Noelle Johnson said...

What a great post! Hopefully other gardeners in colder climates will be inspired to try some of the same types of plants so that they too can have beauty in the garden in the fall (in addition to the trees). I am a big believer in creating interest in the garden year round.

Benjamin Vogt said...

GG--Hey, I can't stroke my ego too much. Can I?
OFB--Yer welcome anytime, but bring pie next time.
WR--Oh, you can bring the candy then. All ya guys bring something.
Les--I bred a special group that are able to survive the winters here. I am almost ready to sell some to special friends.
AZPL--I'm a big believer in trying anything else most pople don't have. This usually invovles anything native or important to wild life. I hope that didn't come off wrong, but I'm astounded by what I see in my neighborhood--and the scientific proof that year round nature helps us in so many ways! Viva the winter garden (though, I'd prefer it viva-ed a month or two less this year because I just started getting my mojo workign this year).

James Golden said...

Looking good. Amazing transformation since last year. I wonder if that Eupatorium 'Prairie Smoke' is the plant I know as Eupatorium rugosum (though I think it's name has changed to Ageratina or something like that). If so, at least in my environment, it's beautiful clouds of white will result in thousands, and I really mean thousands, of seedlings. But maybe that won't happen in a dry climate like yours.

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Fantastic post, what a terrific series of pictures, your fall colours are great. The first picture is so inviting. Does your Isanti produve many white berries? I haven't been able to find a single picture of them online (maybe I'm not looking in the right places). Great sculptoral elements, you have a beautiful garden. :)

Benjamin Vogt said...

James--That 'Prairie Jewel' is eupatorium altissimum, or at least is was until recently. My rugosum doesn't seed. And my soil isn't that dry--as the plants grow, it stays noticeably moist-er (plus, it gets plenty muggy here, maybe not like you though?).
Rebecca--Isanti is a sloooow grower for me in its first two summers. No berries. Now, if you want a fast one that gets white berries the first year, 'Arctic Fire' is the way to go. It's supposed to be 3x3', but mine did that in its first year, so I have my doubts that it'll not grow more.

garden girl said...

I love Little Henry - got a small start from a client this spring. I didn't do much this year, especially not with the squirrels digging it up multiple times. But it hung in there, and hopefully will be back next year. I'm especially looking forward to its fall color.

Your asters are gorgeous. You're growing a lot of favorites of mine. Your garden is looking really beautiful.

Jehanne Dubrow said...

My god, that's your garden? It's gorgeous. You should see the monstrosity that is my garden. The inside of my house is lovely, but the outside...oy. Please visit the Eastern Shore and rescue my front yard!

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Thanks, Arctic Fire is on my short list, I have an Ivory Halo and it's great, grows quickly and looks good.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Jehanne--I don't mess around. Besides, it was "research" for my memoir. Can't write a book on gardening if you don't live the research. My next book is on BMWs and Godiva and summers in Provence. (And I would love to work on your garden, but, you know, $$$.)

Benjamin Vogt said...

Rebecca--My bare root 'Halo' grew much faster than my potted one.

Pam said...

Okay, so far tonight I've seen 'hairy balls' over at Layanee's (Ledge and Garden) and here I find horse penis liatris. Hmmm. (actually, the liatris is interesting because it looks like something I saw growing wild on the roadside north of me - so I'll have to look it up and see if it indeed is the case...if so, I could have some horse penis liatris of my own (wishful thinking).

Okay, your sedum is GORGEOUS. I must confess to having sedum issues. I want them in my garden. I have some of the low growers (which are lovely but...okay...BORING). Your taller ones in flower are just stunning. But my sense is that many of the taller ones are for colder zones (than my 8b kinda like a 9 except on one or two cold nights). So I went over to Plant Delights and there are some taller ones that will make it to zone 8...and I feel for this one:

Isn't it stunning???? Wow. Yours in gorgeous too. Maybe when I come off my budget-induced-plant-deprivation-period I shall purchase one.

Your garden really is beautiful - it's incredible what you've done in just two years!

Sarah Laurence said...

This was an original foliage post after so many trees. Autumn has some more subtle colors as you well show in this post. Lovely garden!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I think I gotta have that 'Prairie Fire' crabapple. Yes, I do. :) Your back garden is full of beautiful fall color. Thanks for sharing it.~~Dee

Chloe m said...

You have created a bit of heaven on your property. Splendid job!
How long did it take to amass all these plantings?

Nell Jean said...

Beautiful presentation. Never apologize for the quality of your photos, just show us what you want us to see. It's all lovely and we enjoy the views.

Benjamin Vogt said...

GG--thank you! I can't wait to see next fall, which should trump this fall (which I adore)
Pam--Everyone needs horse penis liatris. It likes it wet. Boy, this could get xxx fast. That ground sedum of mine is Sedum kamtschaticum 'The Edge.' Very bright colors, and tons of yellow flowers in the spring / summer.
SL--Thanks my fellow writer. I was trying to do something a little different....
Dee--Yes! Go get it! It has awesome burgundy / green summer leaves, too!
Rosey--It's taken an arduous 2 years. I use steroids. For me and the plants. And the cats.
Nell--Much thanks, glad you stopped by to stroke my ego. :)

Unknown said...

Wow... absolutely gorgeous! But I can't believe that you feel any spot of this "2 Year Old Garden" looks BARE--au contraire! It looks way more established than my 4+ year old garden, already! :)

(And hey, give 'Blue Muffin' a chance, will ya? At least wait until year 4 to decide that it sucks... I know, I know, plants need to earn their keep. But this IS a viburnum, so it deserves a bit of extra latitude, IMHO.)

Benjamin Vogt said...

Kim--I only show it from good angles. Kind of like when I stand naked in the mirror, I stand a certain way. Uh hum. I promise to give my viburnums one more year, but the two blue muffins, and the nudums, are not impressing me much. Shania.