Looking Good October 23


After the hard frosts of last weekend, most of my garden is looking pretty grim. When you love the garden as much as we do, it can be a bit disheartening to bid this source of joy and inspiration adieu for the year.

IMG_8147Undeterred, I went out with my camera this morning to see if I could find things that were ‘looking good’ for this week’s post. Seeking beauty amidst the devastation turned out to be a great exercise for lifting my spirits.

In the front garden, the flat-topped, cranberry-colored umbels of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ have only deepened in color and are lovely to behold. Further down the walk, splashes of scarlet, painted on the foliage of gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides) continues to delight me every time I pass by.

IMG_8151In the bed by the driveway, the oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia) is coming into its glory as its foliage deepens to dark raspberry and purple.

IMG_8152The slender pods of milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) have opened and the silky seeds are being borne away on the wind. Like sending little children off into the world, I wish them success, rooted in good earth with ample sun and water.

IMG_8150In the field, the maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’) shines silver when backlit by the sun and waves gracefully in the breeze. Delightful!

Many thanks to Gillian at Country Garden UK for hosting the weekly meme Looking Good Friday (link for guidelines). We showcase highlights in our gardens each week and link back to her site. Pop on over to see what’s special in other gardener’s plots around the globe. Feel free to join us with what is ‘looking good’ in your garden!

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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48 Responses to Looking Good October 23

  1. cindy knoke says:

    It is lovely in it’s pre-winter sweaters!

  2. Sharon says:

    Beautiful, Eliza. I could get lost in backlit miscanthus………..and milkweed of any stage.

    I shall pay you a much due visit soon.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  3. Beautywhizz says:

    I think it is looking really nice.

  4. Oakleaf hydrangea is such an underrated plant, I think. Love it (should you care!). D

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Of course, I care, David! Your gardens at the Priory are so awesome, your opinion is worth a lot. 🙂
      With the wild success of the ‘Endless Summer’ hybrids here in the US, folks are starting to look at other hydrangeas as well, oakleaf among them. Their fall color is stunning.

  5. Based on your photos, your garden still looks great in its pre-winter state!

  6. Deb Lathrop says:

    Just lovely! Especially love the silvery grasses. xoxo

  7. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Well, things are still looking good there. I especially love how ethereal your milkweed looks. Nice shots!

  8. Love the deep descriptive colours – cranberry, dark raspberry, purple. Glad that the plants linger before the cold sets in.

  9. Excellent photographs, despite the weather. So far, we haven’t had any frost.

  10. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Looking at your lovely sedum and also spotting a neighbour’s this week – I’ve decided I need to put on my list of garden must haves! Lovely colour for this time of year.

  11. dorannrule says:

    I can see why you were cheered Eliza, finding all the “good stuff” of autumn in your garden.

  12. ladygrace33 says:

    Great colorful photos Eliza 🙂

  13. Your photos today are just stunning, Eliza. Your photo of the milkweed pods bursting is my favorite! How beautiful your garden looks in today’s sunshine! Your photo of the Oakleaf Hydrangea is full of promise for me. If we ever get through a season with leaves intact and unnibbled, I see how beautiful it will be! Frost simply ushers in another sort of beauty. I hope you have some more nice weather before winter sets in. ❤

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you get to enjoy your Oakleaf – Jap.beetles will sometimes nibble holes, but fortunately there are other things the deer have chosen. I think Wren has kept them out of the yard. You are right – frost does bring its own beauty to the landscape. I’m trying to embrace that! 😉

      • Good for Wren! Since we’ve gotten new neighbors, with a lovely dog, we have seen far fewer deer! Something about the smell of a dog scares them, perhaps. I was on the road today and saw so many deer, Eliza. There were deer down- especially bucks- along every road I traveled. Live ones along the sides, too! I guess it is that season. I have sprayed an Oakleaf just moved form a pot to the Earth with repellent, planted Sage around it, and also onion sets. I hope it survives! Yours is certainly lovely and an inspiration to get these large enough to enjoy them. Hope you’ve had a good Sunday, e

      • Eliza Waters says:

        It is probably rutting season. By ‘down’, do you mean dead – like roadkill? I can imagine that there being so many, they become a dangerous road hazard, esp. at night. Bad news for a vehicle and sometimes the passengers.

      • You are so right on that. Yes, they were dead on the side of the road… I suppose that the highway dept. hadn’t gotten to them since it was a Sunday. I’ve never seen so many in a single day. And there was one section of road where I had to swerve into the other lane to avoid an already hit one, too. An interesting drive, Eliza….

  14. MK says:

    I especially like the last 2 photos. The milkweed seems almost intangible! Beautiful.

  15. Cathy says:

    Autumn sunshine can make such a difference to the mood, no matter how chilly it is, and you have captured some of the magic of the seedheads and foliage in your beautiful photos!

  16. makingcamp says:

    You have wonderfully shown us that each day each season has its beauty if we take the moment to look for it! A nice reward.

  17. Kathy Sturr says:

    Such beautiful finds Eliza! I enjoyed my Oakleaf Hydrangea tremendously for about two years before she succumbed to our climate. I have never seen such beautiful leaves! I want more grasses! I am enjoying a flock of goldfinches today who have discovered helianthus microcephalus. They are so fun to watch (and they are ignoring the feeders in favor of!)

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Kathy. My oak leaf did nothing much but die back for years and then suddenly it seemed to take hold. It does get a fair amount of winter-kill that I have to prune out, however. Similar to lavender.
      Grasses really do shine this time of year don’t they? I have four types, but the miscanthus is the queen!
      The goldfinches and white throated sparrows really gleaned my garden this fall, mostly of coneflowers and helianthus seeds. It was delightful to see so many calling and fluttering about.

  18. ladyfi says:

    Love that silver grass!

  19. Val Boyko says:

    Quite dreamlike and ethereal … Lovely Eliza!

  20. Maria F. says:

    Another beautiful set of images Eliza!

  21. Gillian says:

    Your garden does not look grim to me Eliza! Your photos are truly lovely. I seem to remember a couple of weeks ago you said that you don’t take artistic photos. Something has changed I think. You have most definitely caught the best side of these plants.

  22. winterbournehgblog says:

    I’m not sure our photographs can quite match yours but we have plenty of plants still showing off here in Birmingham https://diggingfordirt.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/november-notebook/

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