Autumn Garden

Purple Smoke Tree Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'

Purple Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’) fall color

This has been a wonderful year for fall color in my neck of the woods. Conditions favoring such all came together weatherwise– from a cool, wet spring to sufficient rain throughout the summer, ending with a cool, dry September. Perfect!

fall in the shade garden

shade garden in fall

While my flower beds are done for the year, and maple trees’ blaze of color is no more, there is still plenty of color as perennials fade and small shrubs flash color all over the yard. Above is my front shade garden displaying a mosaic of color. A Cotinus, which I planted in August to replace a beloved Acer I lost to canker, has been a delightful surprise with rich shades of blazing color. Some closeups:

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Further along the hedge to the right, clockwise, are a mound of yellowing Weigela, brilliant red Japanese maple (Acer palmatum no ID plant sale seedling), a Christmasy (no ID) Rhododendron with older leaves that turn red behind the newer evergreen ones, and a burgundy deciduous Azalea.

Weigela, Acer, Azalea

Weigela, Acer, Azalea fall color

Along the front walkway, the stonewalls topped with my ‘bonus’ pumpkins, barely contain the yellow-green, red-edged Lysimachia and scarlet Geranium leaves:

Elsewhere in the yard, Korean Spicebush and Doublefile Viburnums, Oakleaf Hydrangea (H. quercifolia) blaze in burgundy and scarlet. Lacecap hydrangea (H. macrophylla) are yellow lanterns topped in rosy-purple. Fothergilla and Aronia are multi-hued showstoppers.

img_6275In the surrounding forested hills, russet Red Oaks (Quercus rubrum), butterscotch-colored Beech (Fagus grandifolia) and gold Poplars (Populus grandidentata) contrast with deep evergreen pines (Pinus strobus). It is a ephemeral show that I take in greedily, knowing it will soon to fade to the monotones of winter. For now, I’m grateful for its abundant beauty.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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90 Responses to Autumn Garden

  1. So envious of your smoke tree and Japanese maple. I’m surprised the maple is hardy in your part of the country.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Ellen. We’re a solid zone 5 and in sheltered spots we can sometimes grow z6 plants, but I generally stick to the sure thing, as a bad winter can end in disappointment otherwise.

  2. Loved the slideshow photos and the beautiful purple smoke tree!🙂 Autumn is my favorite time of year and it looks wonderful in your garden and area.🙂

  3. Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing it all. Such beauty!

  4. Karen Lang says:

    You are so clever Eliza! I love the garden of Eden You have created. It’s definitely a reflection of you ☘️💕

  5. cindy knoke says:

    Love the bold color variance. Striking!

  6. albert says:

    So beautiful. Grateful to have been able to visit.

  7. Anne says:

    As we are not privy to such autumnal shows in this part of the world, I drink in the beauty of yours:)

  8. Vicki says:

    What a stunning display of colour. Love the Purple Smoke Tree in particular.

  9. You’ve a yard full of beautiful fall color, Eliza, and much year ’round beauty. It has been a wonderful autumn season. Our Japanese Maple is brilliant right now with some sumacs and rusty oaks for companions.

  10. Chloris says:

    Wonderful autumn colour in your garden and oh, what a glorious forest view. Paradise.

  11. Lovely fall color in your gardens. It is the time of year you need to look at other plants for color, and they don’t disappoint if you look. 🙂

  12. Treah Pichette says:

    It certainly has been stunning this year. And it’s still going on! Let’s have this perfect weather combination every year!

  13. I am smitten by the purple smoke tree. I had never heard of it, but when I saw yours, my heart leaped with joy.

  14. I really enjoy your colors, as we don’t have all those shades here.

  15. Marvelous colors! I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful garden with all the fall colors. The colors are so deep and bright at the same time. Very beautiful!

  16. Kathy Sturr says:

    Beautiful Eliza! Looks as though it is a spectacular display up there!

  17. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    Beautiful Autumn colours Eliza, what a treat to see! 🤗💖🍁 xxx

  18. Plenty of colour to enjoy there. How lovely to live right next to woods. Sadly, Cambridgeshire isn’t know for its tree cover!

  19. Alice says:

    So many beautiful colors! Lady’s Thumb, growing everywhere here, is also very colorful.

  20. Kris P says:

    Your flowers may be largely gone but your foliage is spectacular, Eliza. I’d be thrilled if my own smoke tree looked half that good when temperatures fall here. I’m even more envious of the raindrops…

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Kris. I loved the purple foliage when I bought it, but wow, the fall color stunned me.
      We’re in for a rip snorter of storm tomorrow, lots of rain and wind. Wish I could send you some rain, I know you don’t want the wind. 😦 Hope you get some relief soon.

  21. Debbie says:

    “Abundant beauty’ is so right — what a gorgeous yard you have in the Fall! I’m going to have to come back in the Spring and see if you’ve done another post so I can enjoy the greening-up.

  22. Lovely, thanks for a fall tapestry. One thing I miss from my far northern home(Atlanta,ha) is the woods, especially the American Beech and real Japanese Maples, two irreplacables in my garden.

  23. What a marvellous display you’ve shared, Eliza! I too am enjoying the last burst of colour before winter sets in.

  24. M.B. Henry says:

    Gorgeous! Just love those fall colors 🙂

  25. AmyRose🌹 says:

    What a beautiful post, Eliza. I loved your slideshow! The colors in your gardens just won’t stop, will they? I too am so ever grateful for the colors I see now. I was just thinking today we have about 5 months of bleak and bare ahead of us, and OH that thought was followed by … “I really don’t know how many winters I can do here.” Winters are just so long in this part of the world.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Amy. Yeah, winter really is WAY too long in these parts. Groan. A bright spot is that the older I get, the faster time goes, right? 😉

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        Exactly! We must focus on the bright side of life to keep our sanity. Told hubby this year I have to have a project (a big one) to keep me occupied this Winter. I suggested he and I work on the home improvements needed on our Master Bathroom. I’m gonna keep after him until we are doing so! LOL

  26. Lovely color Eliza. You are a little ahead of us, but we are following fast in your path. It is a beautiful season unique to no other. While many love fall the best, it is hard for me to jump on that band wagon since winter follows hard behind. But as I age, and once I retire and don’t have to go out, I won’t mind winter as much. Happy fall.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cindy. Same here, winter is so long and cold that it is hard not to see fall as the precursor, rather than letting it stand by itself. I’m trying!

  27. Lovely colours Eliza!

  28. Irene says:

    Gorgeous colors, especially that purple. ❤️

  29. Cathy says:

    Lovely Eliza! You really do have a good year for autumn colour. It has been rather subdued this year here. Pleased to see your cotinus is so pretty – I have planted the same one near our front gate but it has not changed colour at all. Still very nice though. An acer is on my planting list for next year. You can’t beat them! Hope your autumn lasts a while to come. Enjoy!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cathy. Wind and rain this week has denuded most of the trees. Our first hard frost was Friday nite. Looking very different out there now, very November-ish!

  30. Jen says:

    What gorgeous views you are surrounded by…thank you for sharing them with us! 🙂

  31. tonytomeo says:

    Impressive. I am seeing this a week and a half later, and our color is just barely starting.

  32. naturebackin says:

    Amazing colours in the foliage and I like the decorative seedheads too.

  33. Maria says:

    You’ve shown it really well, and the slideshow adds to the mood.

  34. Leif Price says:

    The Rhodendron colors are beautiful! I’d say Fall photos will never cease to amaze and awe.

  35. Jewels says:

    Beautiful, Eliza! Oh how I love autumn’s palette! 😍

  36. Wow… You captured the beauty of Nature! love it.

  37. Love Irrigation says:

    Nice one, Your post really reminded me my childhood at my Grandma’s garden, It’s really colorful 🙂

  38. forgottenmystic says:

    Beautiful!! ❤

  39. So pretty! Thank you for sharing!

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