Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Lingering Beauty of Autumn

With the impending time change looming on the weekend horizon, my chances for enjoying the garden on weekday evenings are numbered. Darkness will soon greet me on my exit from work, and the weekends will be my only opportunity to enjoy the garden at dusk. So tonight I grabbed the day's remaining sunlight and took a stroll through my garden.

Acer 'Roseo Marginatum'
My newly-planted Japanese maple has lost most of its leaves, but those that remain are edged with an increasingly-rosy ivory margin that brings out the color in its red stems.

Hosta
Although most of the Hosta  in the garden are tattered, the gradual cooling and lack of hard frost this fall has allowed them to turn the most amazing shades of gold. The white-edged varieties are particularly striking.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lamb'
The summer's drought took a toll on the flowers of most of my Hydrangea, but the fall foliage has begun to color nicely.

Geranium
I was surprised to find the burgundy leaf of a perennial Geranium hovering above the green Heuchera below. Normally, this particular Geranium is the star of the spring and early summer garden but dies back to the ground by late August. I don't think I've ever seen its autumn color in the past.

Hosta
Hosta
The Hosta beneath our Red Maple have taken on a golden-brown sheen, possibly caused by a couple of  dips below freezing this past week. Surrounded by the maple's fallen yellow leaves, these Hosta paint a colorful portrait outside our living room windows.

Viburnum carlesii
The neighbor's Koreanspice Viburnum is a couple of days away from peak fall color. The dark red color starts at the leaf margins and slowly bleeds down towards the veins and midrib. Its hard to decide if this shrub is more beautiful in autumn or when fragrantly blooming in spring.

Hamamelis vernalis
The witch hazel that grows along the back fence, in full view of the dining room windows, is one of the elders in my garden. It has marked the changing of the seasons in my garden since my hands first plunged into this quarter-acre patch of soil. Some plants seem to change overnight. Not this witch hazel. It is never hurried, no matter the weather nor the behavior of its botanical neighbors.

This leaf seemed to hold the shadow of a lush, green summer in its veins, a subtle message to Old Man Winter to bide his time and let the beauty of autumn linger just a wee bit longer.

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