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Fall Colors Peak in the Garden

I am listening to the steady drum of rain. It has been constant for hours. I am not complaining, because we need the rain; but the garden today was a sodden mess, cold and inhospitable. Autumn the cat was meowing to go outside and ran past my son when he came in for a visit. She halted at the edge of the carport, tested an icy puddle with her paw and then promptly turned around and came back inside.

The rain should stop by tomorrow, but temperatures will fall to frigid levels tomorrow night. This will be the third hard freeze within a few days. Sometimes autumn will linger into December here, but winter's grip is early this year. A few days ago I caught the garden's fall colors on camera at their peak, but the brilliant leaves you see in the following images will soon be fallen shells.

So here is my farewell to fall. It was glorious!

A view of the Jasmine arch with a Japanese maple in the background:

A blazing dogwood tree with the golden leaves of Chinese Pistache on the lower right:

A view from the patio:

A view of the garden in front of the parking court:

A young hickory tree with brilliant leaves:

Views of a Japanese maple with golden fall foliage - this was one of the unnamed seedlings I planted in 1990:

More colorful Japanese maple leaves:Clockwise from top left: 'Vitifolium'; 'Orangeola'; 'Aconitifolium'; "Seiryu.'

The bronze foliage of a White Oak:

We are blessed with many different oak trees. This is the bark and fall foliage of a Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa):

Here are a couple of views from the front lawn:

This is the birdhouse between the drive and the side of the house:

More fall colors; note the arbor that we recently painted. It took a lot of courage for me to do this!

'Waterfall' Japanese maple in the woodland garden:

It was a great autumnal celebration, but the party is coming to an end as grim winter arrives to put all to bed. Sleep well, and we will have another party come spring!

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Reader Comments (22)

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. What glorious fall colors. The text is very well written. I love to listen to the rain. I open the windows so I can hear it better. But here in this dessicated dry country it is the smell of the first rain that is the best perfume in the world. We don't have to worry about freezing thankfully.

November 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJane Strong

I'm glad you managed to take those pics before the rains and freezing temperatures have arrived, it looks spectacular and a richly colourful goodbye to autumn!

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Extremely beautiful. Most enjoyable end to the party.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

Breathtakingly beautiful. I love the way we are starting to look forward to spring now. Give winter a miss... good idea. By the way, do you make leaf mold?

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Shoesmith

I think maybe the colours in your garden are a little more subtle this year, maybe the light was just different because even though the colours are beautifully bright there is a softness to them I don't remember in other years. Keep warm and as you say it will soon be spring!

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I'm glad you plucked up the courage to paint the arbor -- it looks great!

As for that unnamed Japanese maple you planted back in 1990, it reminds me of the Chinese saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago -- the second best time is now.

(Clearly, you picked the best time!) :)

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Dalton

I love your autumn pictures. The colors of autumn leaves are gorgeous !

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEla

hi Deb, truly superb colours, beautifully photographed. I also enjoyed the cute word picture of Autumn testing the icy puddle with a paw and rushing back inside.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

You have wonderful colours in your lovely trees, what a magnificent end to autumn!

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

Thanks for all your kind comments! Sarah, you asked if I make leaf mold. For the most part we rake leaves into the natural areas around trees and shrubs, where they break down very quickly, mostly being gone by spring when we replace with pine straw. We also put a portion of the leaves into our compost bin. Deb

November 17, 2014 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

I just love all your Japanese Maples. If I had a big property, I would have them in all colors too. Your birdhouse is darling with the tools hanging on the "shed". Fall is finished here, all except for the pears. They still are yellow and orange in full color and leaf. Mine one year had leaves in January.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Wow, wow, wow! That Bur Oak foliage is stunning--if I didn't see the shape of the leaves, I'd think it was a Maple tree. And that fiery Dogwood--I'm speechless. Good send-off for fall!

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

All your photos are gorgeous but I love the one of the dogwood with the Pistache. You got a better - and longer - display than any fireworks could have provided. I'm glad Autumn the cat was sensible and decided that warm and dry is better than cold, slippery and wet.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Hi Deb! The word Glorious is very appropriate here! This is Fall in its best! Some views look like a tapestry! I love the bark of Burr Oak (never heard this name!). Dogwood tree foliage reminded me of honey and amber. Beautiful!

November 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTatyana

Absolutely glorious Deb, I love the colours of Autumn as well as the delicate leaves of the Maple.

November 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I don't think there is a season more than fall where you can really see the thought that went into your garden design. The color contrasts, varied textures, and the amazing use of shape really makes your garden stand out.

November 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

So beautiful! Fantastic study of the burr oak. You have an amazing variety of Japanese maples, and they are so good for fall color. I love the gold seedling. What a beauty!

The dogwood truly did look on fire. Gorgeous!

November 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

You are lucky to have caught the gardens fall colors on camera at their peak Deb. It looks stunning.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Oh Deb I am sad to see your garden go much like mine. But I need a rest and time to contemplate the future and dream of new plantings.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

I have immensely enjoyed all your photos of changing leaf color this fall. Especially those Japanese maples. They take my breath away!

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

I'm ever so glad you took me along on your fall walk before the colors left! I did the same thing, only my fall colors weren't so much from leaves, as foliage and flowers. Like you, a hard freeze came right after that, and took it all away from me. And the snow sure didn't help!

November 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

your arbour? I love to have some singing colour in the garden. Plotting and planning around some glazed ceramic pots

(patience Diana! To be bought only AFTER the renovations and landscaping, sigh)

December 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

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