Monday, October 26, 2009

Fantabulous Fall Foliage

I have a lot of shrubs. I adore them, yet admit I'm sometimes a little envious in summer when you're all showing masses of colorful blooms. I have tons of non-woodies, too, of course, but the majority of my plant material is shrubs (they're big, you know?). But in fall, my Ann Arbor, MI, garden comes into its own. It's a wonderful showcase of autumn delights! If I do say so myself. (Which I just have. Said. Ha! Esther's writing style is rubbing off!)

For more fall color, check out Dave's Fall Color Project 2009.

Now, I ask you, isn't the fothergilla foliage above drop-dead gorgeously stunning?! And its spring flowers are pretty awesome as well.

There's something about this color and texture combo that just tickles my fancy

Maple leaves from my neighbor's tree fell artistically onto the street.

I didn't realize that the foliage of prairie smoke turns red. Noogie!

Look at my lovely Diablo ninebark! I got it several years ago as a $3.33 gallon shrub at a big box store, and now it's taller than me--at least 6 feet. I love its dark color all year, and especially its redder shade in fall. It also gets great big white blooms in spring. I've never once been able to capture its true beauty on film, though.

This is my red-twig dogwood. It's huge now, and doing very well. I bought it as a bit of a reject at a year-end sale a long while ago. Noogie!

Here is the viburnum outside my bedroom window. If I were the kind of person who wasn't too lazy to go into the basement to check through a huge envelope full of plant tags, and if I were also the kind of person who actually made notes on plant tags as to the location of planting, I'd be able to tell you what kind this is. I have seven viburnums and they're all wonderful, but I'll be plum-doggied to know which is which.

I'm not wild about gooseneck loostrife, but you can't beat their fall color. It's really intense IRL. I got them from a coworker who has since passed away, so though they spread aggressively, and I thin them out each spring, I can never get rid of them altogether, as they remind me of Marlene.

In case you couldn't see the purple smokebush in the background of the gooseneck loosestrife in the previous photo, here it is close-up. It struggled for years and finally came into its own this spring.

Aren't the leaf veins awesome?

My sweet native chokeberry, purchased this spring. I love this shrub and its wonderful orange fall color.

A fall feeling in my front yard (photo is taken with my back against a front corner of my house, facing the street and a neighbor's house across the street).

I transplanted this spirea this fall and it looks none the worse for wear. And look at the tiny obedient plants in the background. They are small (and much later blooming than my huge 4-feet plant out front) because this was a shadier location before I cut down all that buckthorn.

Aw, isn't the variegated red-twig dogwood sweet? I had no idea how wonderful its fall color is. (I had two of these in the entirely wrong locations (too shady) and moved them this spring (one all the way to TN! ;-).) It's grown more this season than it has the previous two years I've had it!

I'm not sure my pieris realizes it's fall... or I could be wrong about how it blooms when. (I got it this spring.)

Barberry is on my city's invasives plant list. It's a big no-no. But, um, well, I planted it as one of the very first things when I moved to my current house, as a detriment to kids who were cutting through my property instead of using the park path not ten feet away. I have pulled out two other barberries, but, dagnabbit, this one is too big to mess with and it's staying. I think the removal of 1,476 buckthorns (approx.) equates with the keeping of two barberries! Plus, look at its great fall color!

Beautyberry is fairly nondescript all season, but its vibrant purple berries are worth the wait.

Here's the viburnum at the back of my house.

The native tall coreopsis turned a gorgeous dark red this fall. They're about 8 feet tall, too!

Here's my viburnum along the fence.

I'm a little "so over" evening primrose, but I do enjoy its "hello-I'm-here!" red fall leaves.

The burning bush was magnificent this year, but it rained before I thought to take a photo. Another viburnum next to it, in this area next to my neighbor's driveway.

Here is that same viburnum close-up. Wheee!

Here's the viburnum at the other end of the front of my house. (You thought I was kidding when I said I had a lot of viburnums?!) This one gets pink flowers in spring. I like how the leaves of all the viburnums vary, not just by variety, but by location (sunnier vs. shadier).

The purple sand cherry was planted in honor of my dad (who died in 1997 and would have been 72 on Saturday), in a convoluted kind of way. Let's just say it's a Prunus, as are plums, and one of my dad's favorite snacks were Zwetschenknödel (plum dumplings made with a special kind of plum; I know Bek will know what I'm talking about!). Also say hi to the hellebore!

The orange mums get lost next to the orange foliage of cushion spurge. I was excited to find the flamingo this summer in Champaign-Urbana while following Beckie to the demonstration garden there! :)

OK, the sedum is always that dark shade of red and the coral bells are always that green, but I love the combo and the cottonwood leaf makes it fall-y.

I love the seeds of iron weed. I'm saving a lot for the seed swap!

Happy Monday, everyone. Fairly normal posting should be resuming. (That is, at a slug's pace, not at a hungover slug on sleep-inducing meds carrying a heavy load of molasses in January's pace!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Time Keeps on Slipping...

Slipping, slipping into the future...

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post, and I'm embarrassed to say I haven't been leaving comments in about as long, either. Thanks for inquiring after me! I'm fine, but fall is always the absolute busiest time in the garden for me. This year even more so because I keep removing more and more buckthorn, and I've transplanted things really too large for transplanting, created a new xeric/Colorado bed, etc.

After coming in for the day, I've been dirty, aching, and exhausted. After throwing my garden clothes in the laundry, I make myself some food (and have been really trying to eat healthier foods, which takes a lot of time and is a whole other story!)... and collapse on the couch.

But my couch is not near my computer and I don't have a laptop... It seems the more time I spend away from the computer, the less I remember it's there. I've also been a bit our of sorts after finding out a close friend from college passed away. She was 42. Of everyone I went to college with, she's one of the few who left a lasting impression. A truly nice person, genuine and caring, always willing to help others, very accepting, always finding the best in people. I admired that and tried to be more like her myself.

As always, I admire all of you who post so regularly, and with all those photos, too!

I really do miss keeping up with you and hope to catch up in about another week or so. I'll have photos for you, too! (Though those from MOBOT and the nice visit with Beckie will have to wait until I'm done in the garden this season.) Thanks for understanding!