The evenings and nights are cooler now, and some of the garden plants are gradually displaying more yellow, red, orange and brown. We haven’t had any frost, but fall colour changes are noticeable
The Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) berries are a bright reddish orange now. They look striking when outlined against the broad green leaves. This photo shows the round berries suspended in front of the fine lines of the leaf. Some of the berries have disappeared, and are not underneath the blades. I wonder if an animal has been having a snack here, or if the winds have spread them around?
The Hydrangea paniculata ‘grandiflora’ (PG hydrangea) blooms, which started out bright white, are developing their fall pinkish tinge. The pink colour is more pronounced this year. Overall, the hydrangea have had an excellent season. This shrub is still completely covered in the large flower panicles. In places, it is hard to see where one bloom begins and another one ends. They stayed white for a long time, and now their autumn transition is particularly pretty. This shrub adds a lot of beauty to the garden, over an extended time. Its early shape and foliage was attractive, and now its flowers are the focal point of the garden. I’ve been looking around the garden for other spots to add more hydrangea. Here is description of different hardy Hydrangea I grow.
Here are the fertile fronds of Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern). These fertile fronds develop in the centre of the fern during the summer, starting green, and now fading to brown for the fall and winter. The intricate detail of their curved shape give them an interesting pattern. They will produce spores to create more ostrich ferns. I haven’t had new ostrich ferns developing from spores in my garden, but I have had lady ferns develop from spores, between my patio stones. My ostrich ferns increase very slowly by sending out a runner with a new fern about 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) from the old plant. Usually only one of my ferns does this each year. In warmer zones I think they spread much faster.
The Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Hennie Graafland’ flowers have faded to a reddish brown, a classic fall colour. The plumes will gradually fade to an overall brown. Right now, they still look decorative in the garden. I leave them in the garden, but I think they would make a great dried decoration for autumn.
A few other plants are shifting to their fall appearance. The foliage of Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’ (white bleeding heart) has turned yellow. It is a strong contrast against the dark green lily of the valley.
Gradually, more tinges of red, yellow and orange are appearing, changing from late summer to fall. So far the signs of a transition are subtle, but there are hints that more dramatic changes will be coming.
Do you see any early fall colour in your garden?