Tag Archives: autumn color

Quick Autumn Color

Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)

Remember the TV show where a contestant was given the chance to choose and keep as many items as she could shove into a shopping cart in just one minute? That is how I felt Tuesday when I stopped in at a favorite garden center, Southern States, while my husband waited in the car.

I have grown some snapdragons from seeds for the first time, but was looking for the immediate gratification of fully blooming plants.

Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)

Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)

I took the last Erysimum on the shelf. I grew ‘Sugar Rush Red’ once before and it did well for a couple of years.

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’ (Wallflower)

I have not planted pansies in recent years, though a few pop up in springtime from past lives. These will be bright and cheery and the white dianthus will make a nice companion.

Ultima Radiance Lilac Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)

At the end of five minutes my cart was full and I had to rush on. Sometimes you can buy a little happiness.

Corona™ White Dianthus (Dianthus chinensis)
Ultima Radiance Lilac Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)
Sorbet® XP White Viola (Viola cornuta) Common Name : Horned Violet
Sorbet® XP True Blue Viola (Viola cornuta) Common Name : Horned Violet
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’ (Wallflower)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)

On The Run Purchases

November’s Arrival

The temperature is a mild 70°F as November steps in to replace October. Several attempts to wander in the garden today were interrupted by sprinkles. After a few false starts one wonders if the forecast light rain will materialize at all—it is much needed.

The Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) which was cut back last month now displays rich and colorful foliage.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) withstood last week’s first frost. Here it is cheerful in combination with Lavender.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) with Lavender

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) with Lavender

The Chrysanthemums change color as they open from yellow buds to white. Later they take on a pinkish tinge.



Along the back steps Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) has grown up through the railing. It has overwintered for several years.

Salvia Dorada 'Aurea' (Golden Sage)

Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage)

This view of the Meditation Circle and surrounds shows how so much of the planting have retreated for this gardening season.

Garden View With Meditation Circle

Garden View With Meditation Circle

I could not fit in the flower arranging classes this year, but even dropping a few garden materials in a handmade pot can be cheery.

Fall Arrangement

Fall Arrangement

November Walk On Campus

Yesterday was Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) over at Christina’s which always highlights some interesting leaf, texture and color combinations that can carry the garden year-round. Busy with Thanksgiving and finding my own foliage pretty unremarkable this month, I did not prepare a GBFD entry this time, but today during a morning walk that included a visit to Coker Arboretum, I had a second chance to concentrate on autumn foliage.

Coker Arboretum

Just five and a half miles away, Coker Arboretum is a five-acre treasure on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (my alma mater). It dates back to 1903 when UNC’s first Botany professor, Dr. William Coker, began creating an outdoor lab to study native trees and shrubs. During the 1920s through the 1940s Dr. Coker extended the scope of the garden to include East Asian species, which correspond closely to many plants in North Carolina.

In spring there are beautiful displays of daffodils, in early fall, red spider lilies. Today the majestic trees dominated the landscape, including numerous conifers and magnolias, American beech, Northern catalpa, American Elm, Japanese Maple, pond-cypress and bald-cypress.

Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress)

This morning a pair of Ginkgos were especially colorful.

Ginkgos At Coker Arboretum

Fallen leaves from the Ginkgos covered the lawn, pathway and the bench too. When school is in session someone is nearly always sitting and reading on the teak benches that are scattered throughout the arboretum.

Carpet of Ginkgo Leaves

The slender tree in front in the picture above is a western Florida native, Magnolia ashei (Ashe’s Magnolia).The USDA plants profile lists this deciduous magnolia as endangered.

Magnolia ashei (Ashe’s Magnolia)-western Florida

Firmiana simplex (Chinese Parasol-tree) is fascinating in any season, but today the white bark seemed very stark.

Firmiana simplex (Chinese Parasol-tree)

Chinese Parasol leaves form dense shade in the summer. This tree is listed as invasive in some states, but not here as far as I could determine. Coker Arboretum now is now under the management of the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG), whose staff is well qualified to evaluate this and all the plantings here.

Huge leaves of Firmiana simplex (Chinese Parasol-tree)

Coker Arboretum’s collection is extensive and there are many more interesting trees and shrubs to share. This final scene for today shows the bright red blossoms of Camellia sasanqua.

Camellia sasanqua