Finally, Some Fall Color

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

Living in the Deep South, there is not the gorgeous fall color here that graces more northern climes. I have often lamented that fact, and as much as I do enjoy gardening in a warmer climate, I do wish there was more autumnal color. What little color we do have is usually not apparent until late November. That is when the tallow trees, crapemyrtles trees, some Bradford pear trees, and a very few others will start turning because by then, we will have had at least one cold snap. This year is no different.

 

 

The forsythia is another plant that gives us a little color. It has just started turning a bright yellow.

 

 

Our lone Bradford pear tree is still green, and it usually doesn’t turn red until almost Christmas when the rest of the country is looking at snow. With this tree in all its autumnal glory situated right in the middle of the front yard, it does make it a little difficult to get in the Christmas spirit when looking at fall colors of yellow, red, and brown.

Well, at least having a little fall color for Thanksgiving is nice and is better than nothing. Now, it is on to winter for the garden since colder weather has arrived.

Fall Foliage

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

Here, just north of the Gulf of Mexico, we do not have the wonderful fall foliage that areas to the north of us enjoy. I guess we are too warm, and the trees that really fire do not grow here. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have colorful fall foliage. When I plant my coleus in the spring, I always keep in mind that come autumn there is a need for some color that only a plant like the coleus can give, so I put in colors that will look nice not only in summer but also in the fall. This year, the coleus did exceptionally well, and I have huge plants which gives a nice display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, my new favorite for this year.

 

 

All of these plants are over three feet high and about two to three feet wide. They are making quite a statement in the garden. So, while I don’t have the lovely maples, aspens, and other fall foliage stars, I do have some very colorful foliage to get me through the season.

Fall Color, At Last

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

Here in the Deep South, fall color is usually pretty pathetic.  We don’t have the hard woods that turn such lovely colors in more northern areas.  Also, we don’t usually have a cold snap that starts the leaves to change colors, and living at lower latitudes we still have a lot of sunlight.  Of course, we are not totally without some autumnal color.  Crapemyrtles and tallow trees will start turning in late November and will give us some reds and deep oranges.  Many years they can be quite striking, and then, other years their leaves just seem to turn brown and fall off.

Usually, green is still the dominate color down here all through the fall and winter.  Today, however, our Bradford pear finally showed its color.  It seemed very striking especially since it was an overcast day.   As I pulled in the driveway this afternoon, the bright leaves stood out against the gray sky.

 

 

 

Here it is, the middle of December, and we are just getting our fall color.  I have been drooling over the gorgeous fall pictures on other people’s blogs for months, finally with all the red and green of Christmas, we get our oranges and yellows.

 

 

 

 

I know Bradford pears are not considered good trees to plant because of their brittleness, but when I see them like this, I wish I would have planted more.

In the Mood

“In the Mood”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

More rain today, which meant no work in the garden.  This morning there were no puddles in the low spots on the lawn, but after the latest rainfall, the puddles are back.  The ground is really saturated now, so it will have to be several days of no rain before I can get back to working among the plants.  This is a little disappointing because after not being able to be in the garden with all the hot weather, and now that the weather has turned a little cooler, I am anxious to get out and do some real gardening.

With not being able to get outside, I did run a few errands.  Dear hubby needed some batteries, so while I was out, I stopped at Wal-mart.  They didn’t have the ones needed, so I stopped at Home Depot which didn’t have them either.  But, what they did have were gallon sized crotons on sale.  They were only $2.98 when Walmart had them for $10.00, and the grocery store had them for $12.00.  At such a price, I couldn’t resist these plants for a fall container.

 

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I have always loved crotons for the fall.  I know they are summer tropicals, but, for me, the colors are perfect for autumn, and with our mild autumn will look good into Thanksgiving.  Since we don’t have the fall leaf color that other parts of the country enjoy, these plants will definitely give an autumnal feeling to the front porch.  I will either put these in one large container or two smaller ones, where I can then place a toffee twist carex to the side with a pot of colorful mums that can be easily replaced when the flowers finished blooming.  When the rain stops and I am finally able to plant these up, I’ll post a photo of my final decision.

Getting a little bit of cooler weather and these crotons, certainly has put me in the mood to start my fall planting.

Finally Fall Color

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

 

A few weeks ago, I was grousing about not having any pretty fall colors here in the Gulf South while all the more northern bloggers were displaying absolutely gorgeous photos of trees in all their autumnal glory.  Well, we finally got some color for Thanksgiving.  We have had enough cool weather to finally start the color process.

 

The Bradford pear tree went from green to orange in just about two days.

 

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With the bright blue skies that seemed to really set off the colors, this made up for not having the colors show up earlier.

 

The crepemytle tree has turned a lovely golden color.  We don’t have many trees that change color as you can see from the green in the background, so the ones that do change are extra special.

 

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I know that most bloggers farther north have already moved on to winter photos and are probably tired of the autumn colors by now, but come springtime, we southern bloggers will have a head start on spring flowers, so I guess it all evens out.

Mellow Yellow

“Check Those Containers”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana


At this time of year, yellow is the predominant color showing up.  Here in the Gulf South, there is a lot of yellow, but not always because of autumnal leaf change.

 

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Flowers on the cassia tree are a bright golden yellow

 

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Yellow Caterpillar in a folded up agapanthus leaf.  This caterpillar was at the base of the cassia tree.  Could this be one that uses that tree as a host plant?

 

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Satsuma ready to be picked.  We had a good crop this year.

 

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Variegated shell ginger is showing its yellow for fall.

 

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And, finally some yellow leaves.  The forsythia shows off its yellow in both early spring and in autumn.

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.

Two Season Colors

“Two Season Colors”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

It is not surprising that in springtime when we go shopping for plants to add to our garden that we pick flowers and foliage plants in bright, cheery, summery colors.  Colors, such as yellow, bright pink, and orange, all seem to say “summer”, and, after a long, often dreary winter, we seem to need those bright colors.  Think of tropical hibiscus and purslane that come in those sherbert colors.

But, some of those colors also transition into autumn.  Take the orange, for instance.  My sister’s tangerine lantana was perfect for the hot summer, but, now that it is fall, the color blends in with the cooler weather.  Think pumpkins, gourds, and squash.

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Another example is Sweet Caroline ornamental sweet potatoe vine.  When it first shows up in the garden centers in the spring, it also seems perfect for a summer garden.  But, now it has a second life as a fall showstopper with its gorgeous bronze-colored leaves spilling out into the garden.

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Finally, we come to coleus, that great summer annual that can also be a great transition into fall.  In the softer, more golden sunlight of autumn, many of the coleus just seem to glow.  The bright lemon yellow of summer takes on a more mellow tone.  Even the reds seem more burgundy than the bright red of spring.

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So, next spring, when I am planning out my summer garden, I will make sure and take into account the colors of summer that can transition into fall.

The Green of Autumn

“The Green of Autumn”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

When we think of autumn colors, it is usually the reds, golds, and browns not green.  Green is the spring color.  But, in looking around the garden today, I noticed there is still a great deal of different green color around.

 

The first green is the new green of freshly sprouting plants.  The Madonna lilies (Lilium candidum) are coming back with a fresh green color.  Madonna lilies form a basal rosette of leaves in the fall and die back in the summer.  So when most every thing else is dying in the garden, here pops up fresh new growth – signifiying a new beginning.

 

 

The ligustrum has finished flowering, and this has led to the first of the berries showing up a pretty, spring green.  They will eventually turn black as they mature, but right now the light green stands out against the dark green leaves.  If there are enough berry clusters on the bush, the green is very striking when surrounded by other plants with leaves of gold or the other typical fall colors.

 

 

Lastly, I couldn’t resist adding a photo of the curry plant.  Since this is the first time I have planted it, I didn’t quite know how it would do.  It has those frosty, silver leaves of plants that usually can’t take our humidity and heat, but it is still doing well.  It, too, has a color not usually associated with autumn.

 

 

So, if autumn is a symbol of a time of transition, it doesn’t necessarily symbolize an ending, it could be a beginning.

A New Season

“A New Season”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

 

Here in the Gulf South, we don’t get the change of leaf colors that our northern neighbors do in the fall.  It is just too warm in Louisiana for many of the trees that have the vivid colors in the autumn to do well here.  So, we have to mark the change from summer to fall with some of our annuals like the above coleus.  It seems to have the right fall colors to put us in the mood for harvest time.

 

 

This dried Clematis crispa seed pod looks like it belongs in a Halloween scene.  Definitely a sign that summer is over. 

 

Even though there are still going to be warm days here in South Louisiana, it is evident that a change has occurred and a new season is underway.

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