A final bit of fall color

The long, protracted fall here in the Southeastern U.S. has meant that fall color has been stretched out in spits and spurts - a highlight here, and then there. Native and non-native species alike have put on a show, from Fothergilla major (a native) to Ginkgo biloba (an ancient tree from China).

With still no hard freeze (or even light frost) in sight, flowering perennials are still nice, too. The Mexican hyssop (genetically programmed from a different climate) as well as a native Aster (Symphyotrichum patens) are still in flower along with the native witch hazel.

There are still blooming Nasturtiums in the kitchen garden next to the Visitor Center (in the Garden near my office), non-hardy lettuce and arugula is still growing well, and I'm thinking about sowing (a very late) succession planting of extra-hardy lettuce varieties. Hmm.

And I still have harvesting lemon grass stems on my to-do list. It's November 17.


  1. I was just thinking last night that the color has been stretched out longer than I remember from the past few years. This morning I looked out the living room window and saw only brown. The oaks are finally losing their leaves.

    Your ginko was fanstastic. I raised a couple from seed this year, but lost them over the summer. Maybe I'll try again next year.

    No frost in sight here either.

  2. I am enjoying the extended autumn colors. It is such a treat to see the variety of plant material as the autumn color make different varieties stand out.

  3. I have recently discovered the
    S patens and find it very charming addition to the garden. Fothergilla has been outstanding in gardens this year....mine are smaller...it's not situated in acid soil. I think we may get a frost soon...the air feels different then last week. gail

  4. Tom,
    My ginkgo is still beautiful, but I expect it will lose its leaves any day now. The ones at the Garden have all dropped their leaves -- it's an overnight (or at most a one or two day) event. Definitely, try again -- they're well worth it.

    Janet, hasn't the fall been great for seeing colors? Wonderful.

    And Gail, one of our Fothergillas is a brilliant red right now -- a wonderful contrast to the ginkgo, butterfly bush and witch hazel around it. And it's definitely turned cooler here, too, so maybe a frost isn't far behind for us, either.


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