October is the month for painted leaves . . . ~Thoreau
While the garden is quietly collapsing back into the earth, the trees are a riot of color. Cold crisp nights dipping towards the freezing point have triggered the shift from soft green leaves to a paintbox of crisp autumn colors. Most of my time outside has been spent looking upwards, that’s where the drama is. (click on any photo to see a full size image)
October proved a riot a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween. ~Keith Donohue
A few tender plants linger – a coral Million Bells tucked under the spiral staircase, Gloriosa daisies in a planter on the deck, a mound of coral red ‘Sedona’ coleus in a protected corner of the house.
The herb circle in the front of the house remains lush, with tall grasses and creamy seedhead clouds of our native white snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum)
along with a mound of tall blue ageratums self-sown from last year.
A few days ago, a flock of robins gathered for their flight south and indicated to me that they wanted their favorite watering bowl at the foot of the oaks cleaned and refilled. I obliged and they drank long and deep before taking to the skies.
The leaves of the kousa dogwoods have turned a deep russet red while the wild grapevine leaves remain green even as their stems turn scarlet.
As I step outside each morning, a rich sweet smell arises from the earth, the scent of fallen fruit, decomposing leaves and rain soaked earth, the smell of true autumn.
At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth . . . ~Rainer Maria Rilke
These pictures are so beautiful! So is the description 😃😇
Thank you, Shreya, for visiting and for the follow – I’m so glad to meet you.
You’re welcome. I hope that you get some time to stop by my profile😊
We envy you your US autumn colours. At least in the UK we can borrow your prairie rudbeckias! Despite the first frost they are still giving us a good show. R. ‘Prairie Sun’ is my favourite variety.
Richard, I’ve heard that it was too rainy for good autumn color this year in the UK. Rudbeckias are wonderful plants, aren’t they? I have several along with multiple Echinaceas. I leave the seedheads on all winter to feed the birds, an extra bonus!
Your lucky to have all those oaks! There are not enough of them around here. Too many Maples planted as street trees.
I agree, Jason! Love the oaks here, a little patch of hardwood Appalachian forest. The leaves stay on longer too, so we get an extended show.
I like the late autumn in particular with its more subdued and earthy colours. But still some flowers are blossoming. Lovely images, Lynn.
Thank you, Otto – I do love these colors as well, especially now that the sunlight is filtered through so much gold in the sky. There seem to be little spotlights of gold throughout the woods and outside our front door.
We had similar scenes here in mid-October, but now everything is leaf-less and covered in white!
Snow already! We may have another week of color, which is at its glorious peak right now, then it will be gray and brown and maybe white until spring. Enjoy your winter – you have such an amazing new garden to dream of until spring 🙂
Stunning! You have captured the season so well in words as well as images.
Thank you, Brian.
I like “quietly collapsing back to earth.” The cool, cool lavender-blue of the ageratums is such a good complement to all the warm fall colors. How kind of them to self-sow. 😉 The Kousas are beautiful! Thank you for inviting us in again, Lynn, it’s always a pleasure.
Thanks for stopping by, Lynn. Yes, the ageratums were quite generous with their presence this year; I’ve stopped deadheading them so that I might get another bounty next year – love their color and height. They seem impervious to the chilly nights so far.
Your post transports me back to my New England childhood! Here, in the the San Francisco Bay area, we simply do not get the bright colors of autumn. Thank you so much for sharing!
So glad you connected with the post, Kate! The color has become even more intense here since I wrote the post – fleeting beauty!
Thanks for the fall colour ‘fix’! Next best thing to being there.
We had an early winter (lots of snow) before fall really got started. The leaves pretty much just froze, turned brown, and are now dropping to the ground.
Oh, I saw that in the news – bummer! We had something like that a few years ago; autumn interrupted by winter 😦 Glad I could provide an alternative view, Margy 🙂
Your fall garden (and words and photos) are beautiful. We have a wedding in the garden next fall. Her color scheme is blue. I will have to see if Ageratum will grow for us. Lovely!
Thanks, Audrey. The ageratum should grow well for you – these are the tall annual form developed for the cut flower trade which grow easily from seed – Ageratum houstonium ‘Blue Horizon’. They are also deer resistant, which is a plus for my unfenced front garden 🙂
Gorgeous colours, just what autumn should look like. Instead we have relentless rain and soggy brownness. Love the Gloriosa Daisy. I didn’t know Rudbeckia by that name.
Thank you, Jude. We had that rain for a while, then suddenly it was blue skies and crisp nights, just enough to turn on the color! Gloriosa daisy is the annual form of Rudbeckia, easy to grow from seed or buy in multi-packs. Blooms until hard frost, so I love it!
I hadn’t even realised there was an annual form. I shall look out for them next year. Seed sowing does not work well for me unfortunately.
You should be able to find it in market packs – wonderful annual plant.
Lovely – it hasn’t been so cold here so the leaves may get blown away before they have a chance to colour up.
Thank you, Ann. We’ve had a few autumns like that, always disappointing.
I guess that cold weather has its compensations!
Amazingly, yes, there is aesthetic compensation for physical discomfort in this instance 🙂
Love this! You have captured a vibrant collection of colors for the season. Possibly at their collective peak. 🙂
Thanks, Frank! It is really popping color here!
I’ve been in south Texas for the past three weeks, where fall color is…let’s say it’s effectively non-existent. I’ll be returning to northern Illinois tomorrow where I hope things will hang on for another week or so. It would be a shame to miss the autumn color season this year, as your group of photos so aptly illustrates.
And Kerry, you take such amazing fall landscape photos! I hope you find lots of color when you return, we’re only about halfway into the color turn here.
Always a pleasure…I so understand your joy in this season –and Rilke is perhaps my favorite poet (who is not more contemporary) so I have double appreciation this evening.
Thank you Cynthia, I love Rilke too. It’s been cold and damp here, then suddenly-wow!
We are heading into the rainy season out here–with some snow. We moved last spring and the weather is actually a bit different 800 ft. higher!
Isn’t it strange how much the weather can change in such a small geographical area? When we moved a few miles from our previous home,we went from a zone 7a to a zone 56 – it took me a few years to adjust!