October 25, 2015

An autumn rainbow

Walking around today I really appreciated the colors of fall. Though a lot of things have browned and withered with the first hard frost last week, there are still a lot colors around. Here's my rainbow...


Honeysuckle berries
Though I am generally not a fan of honeysuckle, as an invasive plant that takes over so nothing else can grow, there is no denying its richly red berries are pretty.  And the birds enjoy eating them.

Smooth Sumac leaves
We have a whole grove of Sumac trees that came up this year along the road.  My neighbor explained that they are not the poisonous variety but rather, something called Smooth Sumac.  You can harvest their cones and make Sumac "lemonade" from them.

I planted these coneflowers by the pool last year and they came back with abandon this year.  The plants have a wide variety of colors in their flowers: reds, oranges, yellows, purples...and they have bloomed all summer and now into fall.

Maple leaves
This maple tree is in our front yard, near the driveway.  We may try to tap it for sap this spring.


Another lovely shade of coneflower.


Last year, one day I left work and found the maintenance man from the church next to my school throwing a bunch of plants into the dumpster.  I asked if they were live plants and he explained that they are given flowers for special occasions then when they wilt they are disposed of, even if they are live plants.  So I told him - any time you have live plants, please leave them by my car.  I will take them home and plant them.  That day I got four mums and six huge lilies.  A year later, the mums are absolutely enormous and blooming again.  They are rewarding me for saving them from the dumpster!  

Black-Eyed Susan
The Black-Eyed Susans are just about done for the year but still have a few happy blooms holding on. 


Curly Leaf Kale
This is the time when kale really blossoms - nice cool nights and lots of sunshine during the day.  The only things I have left in my garden are kale and chard.

Pine needles
Huge pine trees stand watch over our yard in the front and back yards.  They are dropping piles of needles underneath but still somehow manage to look full and healthy throughout.

Hydrangea leaves
My hydrangeas are done blooming but the foliage is turning shades of purple and red now.


Morning Glory
Morning glories popped up all over the yard this year.  This particularly vibrant one is at the edge of the woods, growing in amongst dry leaves.


My lavendar plants are really happy in the front bed and have grown a lot since I planted them early this summer.  They provide such a lovely scent as you walk up to the house and I love to use the flowers in herbal waters or to accentuate a preserve.

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