Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Foliage Follow-up - October, 2016

Foliage Follow-up, hosted by Pam at Digging, arrives this month after a few days of wind and rain for those of us in the Pacific Northwest. Luckily, the magnitude of the second storm, which earlier had been predicted to have the potential to be a second Columbus Day storm, proved to be grossly overblown. However, there was still plenty of wind and rain to strip many of the leaves from trees that had started to turn and make the garden look a bit gross. So, as with my bloom day photos, I captured these shots rather hurriedly on Wednesday when I saw clouds starting to roll in.

Focusing on fall color helped me keep this post to a reasonable length, for once.

The two persimmons I grew from seed are both gorgeous, or they were when I took these photos. The first one is coloring up faster, being on the drier side of the same bed. The pictures just don't do justice to the glowing shades of orange and red in these leaves. The clouds on Wednesday blocked the evening light that would have made it glow.

Only a couple yards away, but with more moisture in the soil, the second persimmon is slower to color, but also showing beautiful fall shades. I've got two spots picked out for these special trees, where they'll be more visible and easier to appreciate.

The 'Mt. St. Helens' azalea in the stump is coloring up nicely, as is the burning bush in the background. Both have benefited from not being eaten by deer. Before the deer fence went up, I had planned on digging out the euonymus. Now, though, I may as well leave it. It's not in a high profile area and doesn't require any care from me, other than the now-pointless application of deer repellent.

Rhododendron 'P.J.M.' taking on red and purplish tones in the cooler fall weather. There's more red than would be usual for this time of year because this plant doesn't get watered as much as it would like and is in a dry spot.

A preview of things to come. I plunked the Japanese maple and 'Kurume' azalea from the back deck into their new locations, just to see them. The maple will definitely be going in the middle of the pieris. The azalea will likely move around a little before being planted. This bed looks so stereotypically PNW right now: Japanese maple, pieris, azalea, rhododendrons in the background. Oh, but I have plans for this bed that I think will raise it above the stereotype. I hope the reality matches the image in my head. I can't wait to show you.

This weird pieris was supposed to be an upright cultivar, but took on an unusual spreading form. The branches have rooted all around it, so I can cut and dig out the center portion and plant the maple right in the middle, complete with instant pieris skirt. And the fall color of the maple looks so nice with the pieris foliage. Hopefully the upright maple doesn't also mutate into a groundcover after I plant it in this spot. I want it to be a tree!

The wind has stripped nearly all of the leaves from the climbing hydrangea, so I'm glad I got one last shot of it on Wednesday.

Another preview of things to come. I'm very excited by this combination of Carex comans and Cornus sericea 'Hedgerow's Gold', the latter of which I picked up last weekend in Seattle from my friend, Riz. The silver carex really makes the red dogwood stems glow.

Foliage of another deciduous azalea, one of the Lights series, with the dark foliage of Ajuga reptans and green Satureja douglasii in the background.

Yellow variegated Solomon's seal and red Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Cloud' from Joy Creek (thanks, Tamara!) make a lovely combo.

The oakleaf hydrangea above has already turned because it was in a rootbound container this summer and a bit drought-stressed. Meanwhile, the 'Snow Queen' I planted last year has yet to take on even a hint of fall color. Next year they should be on the same schedule.

Before working at Cistus, I never would have imagined myself being smitten by what is essentially a giant, shrubby dandelion. I have two of these Dendroseris macrophylla, and they're really enjoying the cooler weather of fall. Makes sense, since they hail from the Juan Fernandez Islands off the coast of Chile, which never get very hot. I was going to move the χ Fatshedera lizei ‘Annemieke’ to a different location, but now I really like these two together.

Some of my Liatris spicata really took on some great color this year. I missed photographing it at its brightest, but this is still pretty good.

My favorite stage for Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' is when the leaves take on yellow, red, and purple tones in fall. Who needs flowers? Well, except to make those dark cones atop the stems.

Cotinus 'Grace' taking on beautiful glowing fall color.

I always look forward to seeing the bright peach tones of Poncirus trifoliata 'Monstrosa' against the rich green of Abies balsamea 'Nana'. There are more leaves on the poncirus this year, as its beginning to recover from being moved last summer and didn't get defoliated by ants. I was worried that it wouldn't be able to handle the heavy clay soil in this bed, but it seems to be doing well enough.

Velvety grey foliage of Rhamnus, or Frangula, californica ssp. tomentosum pairs nicely with the yellow and peach tones of Artemisia ludoviciana. I think the artemisia will color up much later next fall after it's been in the ground for a year. Right now, it's still root-bound in a little 4-inch pot, waiting to be released. The frangula isn't planted yet, either. I have a lot of plants like that, waiting to be put in the ground, but there are so many combinations I'm excited to see growing together.

And last but not least, I was surprised by the fall color of Cornus alternifolia 'WStackman'. The deep maroon, almost brown, in the center of the leaves seems so sophisticated with the cream edges. I like it. It also pairs well with the pulmonaria underneath, which I need to divide and spread out. I wasn't sure what the fall color of this tree would be like, and had mainly planted it for the summer foliage and branch architecture. Looks like it has 4-season interest, after-all, counting the flowers in spring.

18 comments:

  1. The color in the center of those Cornus leaves is wonderful. My oakleaf Hydrangea has never colored up much in fall. I've seen others color up much better, not sure why the big difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, it could be the cultivar of oakleaf hydrangea you're growing, or the conditions. Maybe you're keeping it too happy? A bit of late summer drought may help.

      Delete
  2. I think I spotted the Dendroseris macrophylla in one of your Bloomday photos and thought it was a Euphorbia stygiana or maybe E. mellifera, both of which I would be surprised to see in your garden since they are borderline hardy even in my, slightly warmer, one. Trying to find info on the Dendroseris was unsuccessful. Is it hardy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, it snuck into yesterdays post, too. Good luck finding much on the Dendroseris. Even Sean doesn't know much about it. Right now he's saying zone 8b, but potentially hardier. I'm playing test dummy with a couple freebies.

      Delete
  3. From the top, all the colors are gorgeous especially to a gardener who doesn't get to see much fall color. The Cotinus, wow. And the silvery carex which I love though it didn't grow well in my garden. I shall try again after seeing your photo with the red dogwood. Your typical PNW garden with a twist will look spectacular I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you have better luck with Carex comans in your next attempt!

      Delete
    2. I hope you have better luck with Carex comans in your next attempt!

      Delete
  4. Your fall color is (was) glorious! I hope the wicked winds didn't blow all of it away. We don't get much of anything in the way of fall color, although my persimmon trees have turned color occasionally - usually, the leaves are burned to a crispy brown before it gets cold enough to bring out the orange tones in the leaves and I suspect that will happen again this year. In fact, the Hachiya persimmon has already dropped a lot of brown leaves. I wonder if Cotinus 'Grace' would suffer the same fate (assuming I'm lucky enough to find one locally)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some things are bare now, but others still have most of their leaves. And there are others that haven't even started turning yet, so there will be more color. You said one of your neighbors has a Cotinus, didn't you? Does it get fall color?

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  5. I'm always amazed persimmons can grow in the PNW. One Halloween I saw a bare persimmon tree heavy with fruit. I fully believed it was plastic orange decorations, until I examined it closely...
    Nothing beats the effervescent fall shades of Cotinus 'Grace': its out-worldly!
    Is your friend Riz the famed Riz Reyes I read about in the paper in the past?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure why persimmons wouldn't grow here. That would be him!

      Delete
  6. Looking good, Evan! I especially love that silver carex and the red and orange persimmons. There's no fall color here in Texas yet aside from flowering plants that wait out the summer for cooler weather, but maybe by December! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pam! I'm looking forward to more color changes as we move towards winter.

      Delete
  7. I'm sitting here envious of the beautiful foliage you have in your garden. The oak leaf Hydrangea I grew in a pot for several years finally died last year. It was super cold and too little soil.
    I will definitely replace it. The grasses are especially important this time of year. Yes, they are more colorful that I imagined!
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Oh, yes, definitely replace that oak leaf hydrangea. They're such wonderful plants.

      Delete
  8. Nothing beats the bright glowing colors of autumn and you've got some beautiful examples! This year, I got a Cotinus 'Grace' at a huge discount at a box store and am thrilled with its fall color. Maybe it should get out of the pot and into the ground.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for discounts! I've acquired some of my favorite plants that way. 'Grace' will reward you in spades if you pick one up and find it a home in the ground.

      Delete

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing what readers think and answering questions. I also welcome suggestions for improvement!