Friday, October 18, 2013

seasonal interest in the garden

i think for a lot of people in the northeast, autumn in the garden can feel a bit blah. the harvest comes to an end, plants have begun to peter out and well.... things tend to look a bit dead.

but i believe with some creative selection, the fall garden can be quite beautiful even without having to buy mums and ornamental cabbages

over the years my goal has been to create a garden with seasonal interest and to appreciate the beauty in the many cycles of a plant. selecting plants with beautiful bark, seed heads, leaf texture and pattern can all enhance the fall garden even into the winter months. DSC_0348 DSC_0325
this crape myrtle not only produces beautiful white flowers in late summer but also pretty little star shaped seed heads and a gorgeous bark that sheds into a stunning, mottled reddish-grey hue.

choosing plants that produce interesting seed heads can create a beautiful billowy landscape. ornamental grasses and joe pye weed are what i am loving in my garden right now. DSC_0335 DSC_0352
i especially love these Northern Sea Oats with their bronzed flower heads that shimmer and rustle in the wind. they look beautiful in a fall flower arrangement too. DSC_0342
purple hyacinth bean is one of my favorite annual climbers. they produce a lovely purple bean type flower which then turns into this beautiful bright purple seed pod. these are growing up our chicken run. there will be plenty of seeds to be saved for next season.

our dwarf weeping crab apple tree out front looks beautiful with it's branches dripping with fruit. i think i appreciate it's beauty in the fall even more than it's dainty little pink flowers in the spring. it's a nice pop of color at this time of year DSC_0333
although i cut back a lot of the black eyed susans and cone flowers once they have died back, i do like to leave some for the birds. we love watching the gold finches and chickadees feast on their seed heads. these seeds are also easy to save for next year. a little homemadepacket of these makes a nice gift for a gardening friend. DSC_0330 DSC_0336 DSC_0338
plants such as lamb's ear, sage, santolina, and kale all have a beautiful grey- blue tone that blends well with purples and greens. they all have a tougher, hardier leaf that allows them to last later into the year sometimes even able to withstand some light frosts.

these are just a few of my favorites. i'll highlight more plants and ideas for fall in the upcoming weeks.