Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Foliage Follow-Up - November 16, 2011

FFU_November 2011
I never seem to be able to muster up the strength to do these two posts back-to-back...but this month I was determined to make it happen! Pam Penick at Digging hosts the monthly Foliage Follow-Up at her site...and it's always a great way to recognize the importance of foliage after our monthly glut of blooming awesomeness the day before ;-) Of course, it helps that the fall foliage is at it's peak right about now...making it impossible to ignore. It helps that Autumn in Portland is generously long...lasting months...not the brief 2 (or fewer) weeks that I got in the Midwest when growing up!

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Front (East) border on a foggy morning
We've had some really nice foggy mornings the past few weeks, which always makes things look even more beautiful. Love the misty, mysterious effect the fog imparts to the scene.

Parrotia persica
Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood)
Well, I can hardly do a fall foliage post without mentioning trees. We only have 2 trees on our small property. Two years ago we planted a pair of Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica) trees with the Friends of Trees program. It's a pretty great organization whose goal is help people plant and care for trees in the Portland area. I have to admit, I'm not super knowledgable about trees, in general. When picking out trees from the lists they provide (based on the size and conditions of the area you are planting in), my only real criteria was that they have nice fall color and decent form. I decided on the Ironwoods because they filled both these requirements, adding interesting exfoliating bark and Witch Hazel-like early spring flowers. I have to say, I've been very pleased with them...they are handsome and have beautiful fall color...mostly gold with hints of orange and red. Our neighbors down the street planted the same trees at the same time as we did our. I've noticed their trees colored up several weeks earlier than ours did, and have much more red/orange in them. I think it's probably due to them not watering quite as frequently...which apparently produced more vivid fall colors...good to know for next year!

Oak Trees
Oak trees across street
One of the reasons we picked this house in this neighborhood is because of the gorgeous old Oak trees that line the street we live on. I just love them to pieces...even if they shade the garden quite a bit. Of course, they also shade the house in summer, which makes me a happy camper. These Oaks are really variable in regards to fall color...some years the leaves just brown and fall, but this year they are turning a glorious range of gold and pretty!

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Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)
Can't do a foliage post without grasses, the stars of my autumn garden! I know I just did a huge post on them, however, so I'll keep comments to a minimum ;-) I can never get enough of the wonderful color range of Little Bluestem...plant them, people!

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Panicum 'Blood Brothers'
Can never get over the wonderful colors of the Panicums, especially this one. It's nice, too, that they are so upright and don't flop over in the rain.

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Amsonia hubrichtii
I'm pleased with how the Amsonias I planted last spring have bulked up, and look forward to them getting better each year. I must say, this part of the garden is a bit sparse-looking right now as I wait for them to fill in...but these glimpses of their fall glory really makes me excited for what's to come! If you've ever seen a mature plant, you'll know what I mean!

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Lilium 'Black Beauty'Eutrochium 'Little Joe'
While I don't often think of Lilies as foliage plants (not that I don't find their stalks appealing), those of 'Black Beauty' turns the most luscious shade of ochre in the autumn. Add to that the spare, skeletal remains of the flower stalks and you have a winner. I planted 'Little Joe' Eutrochium in a tight space 2 years ago and have grown to really love it. I have to admit, it's nice to have the blooms closer to eye level...and the structure of the plant is so nice and compact. The warm autumn coloring is just the icing on the proverbial cake.

Echinacea purpurea foliage
Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'
I know it's considered bad to admit that I planted something just for it's flowers, but I have to plead guilty when it comes to Echinacea purpurea. However, come autumn, I'm vindicated when I remember that the wonderful yellowing foliage and dark, spiky seed heads are just as rad. I love how the leaves twist and curl...very Tim Burton-esque!

Geranium ann folkard
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Again, this plant delivers on every level...gotta love the foliage during the entire growing season...and now, as it turns deep red and it even more.

Geranium Rozanne vSedum Matrona
Geranium 'Rozanne'Sedum 'Matrona'
'Rozanne' is a plant I show again and agin, because it's just so darn useful. Great form, wonderful flowers and now, gorgeous fall color! I mentioned Sedum 'Autumn Joy' in the GBBD post yesterday, so thought I'd show 'Matrona' here. While 'Matrona' doesn't hold it's bloom color for as long as 'Autumn Joy', the structure is just as good. Both have wonderful autumn coloring...turning bright 'em!

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Geranium 'Rozanne'
Another, gratuitous shot of 'Rozanne'

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Geranium wlassovianum
I bought this Geranium in spring, based purely on the promise of fall color. I'm pleased to say that it's actually quite lovely all year long. The foliage has nice dark markings and cute little violet flowers all summer and into fall. The autumn coloring is rich red-orange and looks spectacular climbing up through other plants.

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Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
While this plant really sulked during summer, I cut it back to the ground and it resprouted a few weeks ago and now looks fresh and lovely. Can't wait to see how it fares next year...I'm loving the dark, divided foliage.

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Parthenocissus henryii (Silver-Vein Virginia Creeper)
I planted this vine purely for the fall coloring. It's definitely handsome during the rest of the year, but this is what I've been waiting for!

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Panicum 'Shenandoah'Eutrochium 'Gateway'
Panicum 'Shenandoah' continues it's change of color...and is so gorgeous right now...really standing out in the border. 'Gateway' is one of my top-ten favorite I'll never be without, and it's looking smashing right now as it changes color.

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Closetup of Eutrochium 'Gateway'
This close-up of 'Gateway' shows off the wonderful wine-red stems...really a great contrast with the yellowing foliage. Although the stems are noticeable all during the growing season, they really stand out now.

Persicaria Inverleith
Persicaria 'Inverleith'
I don't remember the Persicarias turning such vibrant colors last year...perhaps I just wasn't paying attention. Regardless, this year they are stunning...turning the most wonderful shades of scarlet and crimson...all this while continuing to bloom like it's still July!

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Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'
This Persicaria might just be the perfect plant (aside from it's VERY generous re-seeding)! The foliage is gorgeous from the moment it emerges in spring...the richest, brightest green you can imagine, highlighted with maroon chevrons. In the fall, it turns a warm, vibrant yellow. Another bonus, unlike most Persicarias, which crumple into a heap at the first frost, the skeletal branching structure of 'Lance Corporal' remains standing sentinel all winter.

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Pennisetum 'Hameln' with Euphorbia 'Blue Jeans'Miscanthus 'Malepartus'
There is a reason that 'Hameln' is probably the most-planted of the has such a great, uniform habit. Love the form of this one, and now, as it's thin blades start to turn a vibrant yellow, it is at its most appealing, to me, at least! The tiny Euphorbia 'Blue Jeans' is a plant I have a love/hate relationship with. I love it when it's just the foliage...but don't partcularly care for it in bloom. It doesn't help that after blooming, I have to cut it down to the ground at a time in the garden (high summmer) when such gaps are REALLY noticeable. Once it leafs out again, however, I'm reminded about how much I LOVE the foliage...time will tell about if I keep it around (or at least move it to a less visible spot). In my grass post, I think I may have mentioned that Miscanthus 'Malepartus' turns a lovely shade of yellow in autumn...well, that's an's is the most glorious molten-gold yellow you can imagine!

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Side (North) border, featuring mainly grasses now
The garden relies heavily on the grasses at this time of year...and as they mature with each passing season, the garden feels more and more "together".

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Front (East) border on a foggy morning
Again, the front garden during a beautiful, foggy November morning.

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Happy Autumn, everyone! I hope you all take a moment and just ENJOY this amazing season :-) Oh...and dont' forget to head over to Digging for even more fabulous foliage-focused posts! Do I get bonus points for alliteration?!?


  1. It looks as if your autumn has been as beautiful as ours in Seattle. We have rain now though.

  2. your pictures are gorgeous! one after the other... i can't even pick my favorite! i love this time of year and how the foliage out shines the blooms!

  3. Thank you for visiting me recently. Your photos are a wonderful display of Fall Color! :-) You are right, though we midwesterners are often recipients of beautiful Fall colors, they don't last long enough! It was much more beautiful this year than last, though, much to everyone's delight!

  4. Drooling over your photos - you should have an exhibit. I would certainly come.

  5. Wow, truly amazing colors. 'Rozanne' here stays green year round, and the litte bluestem grass just turns brown. What a difference. Wonderful photos, as usual.

  6. Fall has finally arrived in the south. The ornamental grasses are the crowning glory to the season. My favorite at present is Panicum 'Northwind'. What are the objects in the first pic that look similar to allium skeletons?

  7. Lovely, lovely, lovely colors and textures. My oaks haven't turned in Central Texas yet. Soon!

  8. Beautiful! That Miscanthus absolutely glows, like it's plugged in to electricity somehow. My Panicum is Rostrahlbusch, and doesn't seem to get any red in it, just yellow. Love your Shenandoah!

  9. After sharing that fabulous feast of foliage, you can take all the bonus points you want, Scott. Does fall really last for months there? It's my favorite season, and months of it sounds divine. I'd be out wallowing in those colorful leaves!

    I'd love it if you'd leave your link on my Foliage Follow-Up comments section so that others can enjoy your photos too:

  10. Wow, the Geraniums are surreal--perfect combo of stunning foliage and showstopping blooms! Autumn sure is pretty in your garden. Our autumn has been longer then usual this year. The color started in September, and we still have some vibrant plants...and mild temps! Happy Autumn!

  11. Wonderful foliage! I was all jelous looking at your gorgeous Euphorbia 'blue jeans' until I read what you had to say about it....

  12. Beautiful golden foliage. The Lilium 'Black Beauty' makes a striking autumn specimen. I may have to reconsider cutting mine back so early.

  13. The pictures are wonderful.
    So lucky to live in a nice place.

  14. This is the 2nd time this week I've had to say I wish I would have picked Oregon over Michigan as our final place to live. Rats. Your fall colors are beautiful.
    We have lovely shades of .......grey.

  15. Your Fall color is lovely and you have a lot to look at. It's nice to have that last wonderful change before it's gone for the year.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  16. You really get to show off on the foliage follow-up. I love the Little Bluestem- we have that and it is doing it's fall thing. One of the few things here that gives off the pretty fall colors. Your post is beautiful. I feel like I am somewhere else!!!!

  17. Wow Scott! I love all of those golden colors in your garden. Even the trees joined in to give you some yellow leaves. Beautiful pictures.

  18. I hope you're thinking about doing a garden photography book.

  19. Scott, I'm speechless. That miscanthus malepartus is soooo yellow! And the picture you take! It's funny for me noticing how some plants we have in common age differently because of the difference we have in climates, and it's very stimulating to follow the plant you have and I don't.

  20. I just found your blog today linking from Grounded Design, and I'm ogling your foliage. I *heart* Portland, the rain, the north west, seasons...and you garden. *sigh* Nice home, too. I’ll be back.

  21. a magnificent repertoire of beautiful images, good work
    un saludo

  22. thanks for commenting on my blog about my hydrangea. We don't get seasons here so I really enjoyed your golden post. The colors fit together so well too with your foggy light.

  23. What a beautiful garden--the colors are magnificent. As is your photography. I spent the better part of two weeks in Portland this summer--LOVE IT!!

  24. Holy Cow! The front east border is beautiful.

  25. For what it's worth, we've actually had quite a wonderful, extended Autumn here in my part of the Midwest (much more than two weeks!). Though I have to admit, two weeks is the typical duration. Wonderful photos. There really is something to be said for four season interest!

  26. Wow - just lovely photos. I also love the misty days - suits fall. I haven't heard of foliage follow up - seems like a good meme! I'll have to join in next month.

  27. Thanks for visiting my blog!
    Those are really beautiful Autumn colour! I like the Oak Tree shade!

  28. Having a hard time accepting the the new genus name for Joe Pye Weed. hehe

    I'm so glad you brought up just how great Lilium foliage can be in the fall, esp. 'Black Beauty'!!


  29. Fantastic Panicums - I must try to track down some of these really colorful varieties that you have.

  30. Some lovely colours! It is a fantastic time of year, and little bluestem is still on our wishlist for next year after such heady praise and lovely pictures from you all summer and autumn :).

  31. Wow, those rich yellow-golds are stunning! Love all your foliage layering and the Persicaria's different colors and textures. Really beautiful photos!

  32. Magnificent, every one of them! Impossible to pick a favorite!

    Thanks for visiting my blog

  33. I'm where the autumn color last two weeks - if even that - so I love seeing all your jaw-dropping color. The golden miscanthus is gorgeous and really makes a statement in your fall garden! Love the last photo, too!

  34. How have I missed this foliage meme? I'm going to have to join in next month...and you have stunning photos as always. I particularly enjoy the variety of autumn colors you have in the front border - just lovely!

  35. Message received: plant little bluestem. The Tim Burton reference is priceless...and right on. Your Eutrochiums look like Eupatoriums to me...has Joe undergone a name change?

  36. You've outdone yourself with these pictures. They are so beautiful. There is lots of gorgeous fall color in your nieghborhood and in your garden!

  37. I had no idea there was a foliage follow-up! It's exactly what I need too. I wish I had known sooner. All my prettiest plants right now really are the ones not blooming.

    The leaves were you live are just gorgeous. Here in Utah it's all dependent on how much water the trees get. Even on very wet years like this one has been I don't our falls colors are quite that bright. Absolutely gorgeous. I'm loving the grasses too.

  38. Hi Scott,

    Beautiful photos and amazing colours; if only we had such amazing colours here!
    I'm no fan of yellow in terms of blooms, but in autumn it's all just so amazing!!!

  39. All your iamges are just amazing. there isn't a lot of autumn colour in my part of Italy, the change in temperatures from summer to winter are too gradual I think. I have a foliage meme I do on 22nd of the month for those who can't manage 2 posts in 2 days, do please link this post in, it deserves to be seen by as many readers as possible! just leave a link when you leave a comment. Christina

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