Thursday, November 18, 2010

Late Color in the Garden

By now, most garden color is usurped by dry leaves strewn on the lawn and the blue wash of sky above. But some vibrant hues remain. Salvia 'Victoria' is still standing tall and blue. Buddleia 'Lo and Behold' retains flower panicles for late butterflies and bees. Hamamelis 'Jelena' sports bright yellow leaves, as does the 'Goldmound' spirea just outside my front door. The dangling flower buds on pieris 'Mountain Fire' are bright red, and honeysuckle 'Alabama Crimson' boasts not only sprightly yellow leaves, but clusters of orange flowers.

But the best of the lot is the oakleaf hydrangea. The last shrub to color up in my semi-shady backyard garden, it boasts large interestingly-shaped leaves of mingled purple, green, red and burgundy. Dried summer flowers in ivory hues add to the intrigue of this native, underused shrub.

It's possible, even deep into November here in southern New England, to have color in the garden. Makes one glad to be a tiller of the soil.


  1. Looks to me like a strawberry begonia. It winters over in the ground in Rochester NY, zone 5. Mine is in a hypertufa pot and will be staying out this winter to see if it makes it!

  2. oops this was in reference to your begonia in the pot that you could not identify. Love those oak leaf hydrangeas. Put one of those ogon spireas next to it and watch it pop. Wow, yellow and burgunday never looked so good. Must take a photo before the leaves drop!