GB Foliage Day- October Highlights

Ok I know I’m a few days late, but I still wanted to get in on Christina’s GBFD post.  It is her 500th post after all!

For us the foliage season is going downhill fast.  Here in NE Pennsylvania the foliage color has peaked and most has dropped, and it’s just some of the slowpokes and lingerers which are still giving a show.  The gray days of winter are approaching fast….

fall color in a mixed border

Color along the front porch. In a few more days the hostas will turn bright yellow, but for now the dogwood seedling (now a sapling?) steals the show.

We’ve had a good amount of rain lately and I’m digging and planting and cleaning away.  I love a nice green lawn in the fall, and spent yesterday mowing up the fallen leaves and leaving behind a neat lush carpet.  What I should have done is transplant the flowering dogwood seedling which is way too close to the porch and house…. but I guess I’ll just have to live to regret that one’s placement.  Maybe it will somehow work out 🙂

burning bush fall color in a mixed border

Burning bush (euonymus alata) living up to its name with a few final zinnias and giant reed grass (arundo).

The red of the burning bush foliage is a fantastic color at this time of year, but I think this will be its last fall.  It’s an invasive plant around here and although several neighbors also grow it I don’t want to contribute to the problem.  There were enough seedlings coming up last spring to tell me it needs to go, and maybe a native blueberry will be a better choice for the spot (tastier too).

yucca color guard with ceratostigma (leadwort)

Yucca ‘color guard’ with the burgundy foliage of ceratostigma (leadwort).

Last winter was rough on the yucca, killing off most of its leaves.  I’m glad to see it has recovered since I love the foliage so much.  Right now the leadwort has a nice reddish tint which sets off the yucca well, and even without the bright blue late summer flowers it’s still a great plant.  Too bad I never planted the colchicums out here.  That would have been a nice look!

variegated boxwood

I like boxwood, and this variegated one surprised me by making it through last winter without a single scorched leaf. The odd little drumsticks to the right are seedheads from an anemone who’s name escapes me at the moment.

The big foliage stars around here are the hardwoods, and if you move around to the back deck, the red maples are still hanging on to a few leaves.  Without any wild storms or hard freezes the color has lasted quite a while this year.

Pennsylvania deck in fall

It’s been a nice long fall this year, and I’ve had plenty of time to work through the summer containers figuring out who comes inside and who doesn’t 😦

Off to the other side of the deck the not-quite-tropical border has faded to dead stalks, and I’ll probably leave it like that all winter.  Fortunately the grasses are at their peak, and with a little late afternoon sun everything has a nice glow to it.

autumn color ornamental grasses

Panicum ‘cloud nine’ is a big fluffy grass which really comes in to its own this time of year.

I’m not much for fall cleanup, I tend to leave everything standing throughout the winter and then mow it all down in March.  I do get a little greedy with the leaves though.  I’ll mow up as many as I can and use the mulched leaves to blanket vegetable beds and bulb plantings.  They’re perfect for keeping out winter weeds and feeding the earthworms.

heuchera fall foliage

The heucheras are showing new colors and patterns now that the weather has cooled. It will be interesting to see how these settle in and perform next year… I bet these would love a nice chopped leaf mulch.

More evergreens would go far in setting off some of the fall foliage, I just don’t have much in that department.  Overgrown yews are about all I have, and they’re a little close to the house to let them develop into the small trees they could be.

fothergilla fall foliage color

Bright reds and oranges of fothergilla. It’s a great native shrub for late season color, just keep the rabbits away from it in winter.

… and of course cyclamen.  How can you talk fall foliage without mentioning cyclamen?

cyclamen hederifolium

The last flowers on cyclamen hederifolium. As long as snow doesn’t cover them I’ll be able to enjoy these leaves all winter.

I’m much later in posting my foliage than I should be, but on the 22nd of each month Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides hosts the Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, and gardeners from all over the world show off what leaves are doing for their gardens.  Take a look and see what they’re up to…. I’m going to try to, but I have so many bulbs to plant and leaves to mulch it’s going to be a busy weekend!