Gulf South Fall Color

“Gulf South Fall Color”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


For weeks now, I have been perusing northern garden blog admiring the gorgeous fall leaf color that they have all been displaying.  The reds, the golds, the oranges are all so vivid.  If there is reincarnation, I must have lived a previous life in a northern forest.  I am never get tired of looking at photos of the spectacular color changes that leaves go through at this time of year.  When I retire, the first trip I will take will be in the fall to northern latitudes to enjoy the cool, crisp autumn.


So, what is the fall color here in the Gulf South?  Pretty pathetic.  For a person who has grown up looking at calendars with pictures of trees and their fiery colors, our trees right now are pretty lame.  Just about everything is still green, and those trees that usually give us a little fall color, because of the lack of rain, are just turning brown.


Tallow tree gives the best color

Tallow tree gives the best color


Forsythia gives some color

Forsythia gives some color


A little color off in the distance

A little color off in the distance



Yellow leaves on tree next door

Yellow leaves on tree next door


So, even though gardening down here is enjoyable because it is an almost year round activity due to our mild climate, come fall, we really do miss out on the colors that other parts of the country enjoy every autumn.


  1. deb said,

    November 7, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Here in north Texas our only fall color is our calico cat.

  2. mrsfrance said,

    November 8, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Well, we lack the reds and golds of a northern autumn, but, we also miss out on the months of white stuff.

  3. Jan said,

    November 8, 2008 at 6:43 am

    Deb, I know what you mean. Our gardens are slowly going to sleep, and the northern ones have all that great color. It is something that pictures have made us think that is what fall is.

    Mrsfrance, you are right about the months of snow. I much prefer being able to garden almost year round in our milder climate. Though an occasional snowfall would be a treat.

  4. Randy said,

    November 8, 2008 at 7:37 am

    We had alot of reds around here this fall. I bet this recent rain storm we had took all the leaves off the trees though. -Randy

  5. Nancy France said,

    November 8, 2008 at 7:48 am

    An occasional snowfall is quite lovely….esp if it melts away after a couple of days. After living one year in Northern Illinois, the winter of 77/78— I vowed never to willingly live anywhere that expected snow more than 3 or 4 days in a decade.

    Tho…watching a 1/2 inch of snow close down a city like Houston is a little amusing at that….

  6. Brenda Kula said,

    November 8, 2008 at 8:31 am

    We are enjoying a magnificent display of fall color in East Texas this year. I have lived here through three autumns, and have yet to see something like this. I am spell-bound by every leaf and acorn and pine cone. They are works of art.

  7. tina said,

    November 8, 2008 at 8:32 am

    That’s not pathetic, it looks great to me. Each area has its specialties and even with your mild winters it is still colorful. Very nice.

  8. Jan said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Randy, we usually get a little color around thanksgiving, but with no rain for almost two months, there is very little. I saw Phillip’s blog with his red leaves and was envious of Nothern Alabama’s fall color.

    Nancy, my neighbors that live across the street are from Colorado, and they feel the same way about snow in winter as you do. On the rare occasion that we get snow here, everything shuts down, too. I remember dating a guy from Illinois when I was in college, and, when it snowed, he was in disbelief that 1/4 inch of snow would shut down New Orleans.

    Brenda, sounds like you are having a wonderful fall. We have the cool temperatures but not the color.

    Thanks, Tina, you are too kind. When you compare our spots of color to the majestic displays I have been seeing on other blogs, there simply is no comparision.

  9. November 8, 2008 at 9:29 am

    The Tallow Tree is beautiful. I know nothing about it…would they survive here in Southern Illinois?

    Hope you have a good weekend. 🙂

  10. fairegarden said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Hi Jan, I think that there are few trees that can rival the tallow. Plus it has the added benefit of the lovely white berries. I have made many crafts with those berries for they are very long lasting. I have pressed the colored leaves of the trees and made crafts with them as well, they have such a graceful shape. Not having the harsh winter is such a plus for you too. When we lived in central PA, it was too cold for too long and we had to shovel snow, a terrible job.

  11. Patsi said,

    November 8, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I’m sorry but I had to giggle when you said “pathetic”. It can’t be that bad.
    Anyway , who’s going to being us northerners fun in the winter if It wasn’t for you.

  12. Jan said,

    November 8, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Alexandra, I am not sure if the tallow tree is hardy that far north. I think it is, but I’ll have to check and let you know.

    Frances, my parents had two huge tallow trees in their yard when I was a child, and I remember playing with the white berries. This is a very pretty tree though many people consider it a ‘trash’ tree. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about our mild winters, just the fact that we do not have the lovely fall color that has become so associated with autumn.

    Patsi, when compared to your fall displays, ours is pathetic. Just a spot here and there. No broad swaths of color. This is because we stay so warm and the trees that give the great color just don’t grow here. Don’t worry, we southerns will keep the gardening spirit alive for you all when you are buried under the snow.

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