I came home in April to find the lime thyme in the driveway island looking almost completely dead, so I ripped out much of what was left and, in one location, I planted a few bits of Sedum spathulifolium. As you can see, the thyme has returned with gusto, covering most of the sedums except this one. There's also a few stems of Veronica liwanensis, which seems to have no trouble growing through the thyme. Back to the sedum, I'll have to move it, and dig out the ones that have been engulfed, before the thyme completely smothers them. I do rather like the effect, though. Maybe I can find something larger with a similar color to plant in the thyme.
The spring before last, I grew Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens' from seed. Summer heat came too soon for them to really look good, but they did manage to produce seed. However, those seeds didn't make an appearance until this fall, over a year later. Now I have three of them. That's three reasons to wish for a long, mild fall and a mild winter.
As so many plants are in the process of dropping their leaves for winter, Cyclamen coum (pictured below) and Cyclamen hederifolium are just leafing out.
A trio of fall color lights up from this view to the north of the house, with Cotinus 'Grace' on the far left, Cercis canadensis in yellow, and Rhus typhina in the background. The sumac really should be moved. It gets crisped every year in its dry, sunny location, and loses its leaved early. It's been dropping leaves since August, and I don't really care to run water all the way out to the fence where it grows. The smokebush is just beginning to turn, promising a long display of gorgeous color.
The deciduous azaleas are coloring up beautifully. This cultivar, 'Mt. St. Helens' grows (grudgingly) in a burned stump that bears a remarkable resemblance to the volcano itself. I love this cultivar for the whole range of fall colors it provides, from yellow to purple.
I added four more deciduous azaleas to the garden after the new fence went up. I'm still working on remembering the names. The one below in brilliant shades of red may be 'Mandarin Lights'. It has a bit of powdery mildew. Hopefully that will clear up next year.
Another in beautiful red shades, with Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' in the background, is (I think) 'Mary Poppins'.
The other two azaleas don't have much fall color. One is a lackluster mix of yellow and green and another shows promise but lost most of its leaves early from a bit of negligent watering and an attack of powdery mildew. I'm hoping that once it's planted and not stressed in its container, it won't be as susceptible.
Ever seen black fall foliage? I hadn't, until I took a look at my new Sophora davidii, planted earlier this summer. Not entirely black, it does have a black blush that came on with the cooling temperatures.
Even southern side of the stems, where they are exposed to the sun, have turned black. It's not overwhelmingly black, like black mondo grass, but provides a subtle curiosity for plant geeks like me.
Two persimmons I grew from seed (I think from 'Meader' persimmon fruit) show their individuality most when leafing out in spring and when coloring up for fall. The one photographed below is already blazing with color.
Whereas this one is still entirely green. Now that the greenhouse is up, it blocks the view of these trees from the house. Sure, they will grow above it eventually, but I'm still considering moving one or both to another part of the yard. I don't expect to get fruit out of them, and if they do ever fruit, I don't hold any hope it will be palatable. Such is the sad truth of growing fruit trees from seed. Very rarely does one result in anything worth eating.
Nearby, Calycanthus floridus is turning yellow with a reddish blush. These won't grow tall enough to rise above the greenhouse, but I don't plan to move them. Instead, I'll plant some of the western species, Calycanthus occidentalis, in more visible areas.
I have two seed-grown tree peonies that, like the persimmons, are showing variation. One is completely green, but the one below, growing in drier, leaner soil in more shade, has turned an unusual pinkish reddish orange. What shade would you call that? I'm not the best at naming colors.
A Cornus florida in the same border as the peony has turned a beautiful pinkish red.
These colorful heathers are some of my favorite plants. In summer, they are almost chartreuse, with only a touch of orange, but with the arrival of cooler temperatures they blaze into glory. I'm going to hunting around the edges of my existing plants for rooted branches to plant separately.
And finally, Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris, the climbing hydrangea (technically, a climbing hydrangea). This plant hasn't bloomed since the year it was planted. The location is probably too dry and dark even for this tough vine. However, it does color up nicely, lighting a dark area in fall. The last two or three years, it's started shooting up, so I have some hope that it will bloom again someday. Perhaps the new faucet less than 10 feet away will help by making watering easier and more frequent.
And there you have it. Don't forget to click over to Digging to see more beautiful foliage.