The Last of the Fall Foliage

This week I am enjoying the last of our fall garden. The foliage this year has been breathtaking. The right amount of rain, sunshine and temperatures came together to create a magnificent display of color. Nightime lows are expected to dip into the thirties, so I expect this will be the end of the fall garden.

Still blooming are two late flowering asters, Symphyotrichum concolor and Ampelaster carolinianus. 

Eastern silver aster flowers
Eastern Silver Aster (Symphyotrichm concolor)

This winsome wildflower is a good nectar source for many butterflies. I am seeing mostly smaller butterflies, such as skippers and common buckeyes on sunny days. 

climbing aster in landscape
Climbing aster (Ampelaster carolinianus)

The Ampelaster carolinianus grows in our hedgerow between a ninebark shrub and Eastern redbud tree. Although it has a trellis as support, it often mingles with the adjasent plants. The thickness of this sprawling herbacious perennial provides us with much needed privacy late in the season while we still enjoy outdoor living on beautiful fall days. 

climbing aster flowers

The petals of this aster are a pinkish purple but often become very pale, almost white in appearance, as they age. Another sign of maturity are the darkening discs, indicating that most of the pollen has been removed. Bumble bees are still visiting the flowers feeding on all the available nectar. 

 Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' fall foliage

Dwarf Fothergilla 'Mount Airy' is spectacular in November. This is one of my favorite shrubs, and hence we have seven of them throughout our garden. The specimen shrub above is surrounded by various grasses, rattlesnake master and mountain mint. A pollinator paradise regardless of the time of year.

Zooming in, the foliage is even more intense with its blend of oranges, reds and burgundys. 

macro fall foliage Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy'

The view below is from our side garden looking toward the front road. The Fothergilla are standouts anchoring the longview. 

Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' landscape

A closer look with the neighbor's giant 100+ year old oak tree in the background. 

Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' fall foliage in landscape

Jumping to the other side of this trio of shrubs, is the view one would see from the road. The Fothergilla not only offer outstanding fall folliage, they provide a great screen on this corner of the hill garden.  

Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' fall foliage

Scooting back around to the woodland garden, some other shrubs worth noting are the viburnum. These multistemmed deciduous shrubs provide excellent folliage in our shade garden. 

viburnum nudum fall foliage possumhaw viburnum
Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur and Witherod viburnum 'Brandywine'

The deep red-purple-marroon foliage has been outstanding this year. 

viburnum fall foliage

There are still some berries druping on the viburnum, looking more raison like, but perhaps the birds will still feast on them as other food becomes scarce.

viburnum berries fall

Another view of the possumhaw viburnum, framed by the lovely oakleaf hydrangea further down the garden path.

Viburnum fall foliage oakleaf hydrangea

The hydrangea quercifolia are only just now turning from warm season green to the orange-red-deep burgandy we love to see in the fall. This is another shrub that we have used abundantly around our garden. Fortunately, the deer only prune them ocassionally.

oakleaf hydrangea fall foliage

The small stand of paw paw trees along our dry creek bed have just recently begun to show their golden foliage. I don't recall that their foliage persisted this long into the fall in previous years.

paw paw tree fall foliage
Asimina triloba

Magnolia macrophylla is known for its large oblong leaves. Whereas they are the largest leaves of any indigenous tree in North America, they aren't really known for fall color. Surprisingly, their leaves have lingered this year and I like how the frayed [tattered] foliage appears.

Big Leaf Magnolia fall foliage
Big Leaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla)

Most likely this will be the last post on this year's fall garden as the foliage fades and the flowers succumb to the freeze. Yet, we are enjoying every minute of these precious days before the winter slumber. 


  1. Beautiful asters and foliage, and the views of your landscape are stunning, too. Autumn is a dramatic season of color, isn't it?


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