Monday, October 18, 2010

Crazy autumn color

After I visited the Discovery Center last Sunday, I drove to the other side of the park and revisited the Kaufmann Garden. I never knew those two were almost next door to each other! It kind of explains why the Kaufmann garden didn't focus more on native plants, the reason I was not so crazy about it when I first visited the garden last year. The focus seemed to be more on color but at this time of year, I rather enjoy that because the color in that garden was crazy and electric!

I've grown Jewels-of Opar (Talinum) before but always with other plants in a container. Now that I've seen the drama this plant makes for itself at this time of year, I'm growing a lot more and I don't think I'll mix it up with anything. I'm not sure if the plants self seed or if somehow they just sneak indoors and overwinter in the company of formerly outdoors houseplants, but I always seem to find one or two turning up in a pot the following spring. Plants that ask for nothing when it comes to their survival? You cannot say no to that.

Gomphrena is a wonderful annual too. Its wiry stems hold up crazy magenta accents in a mixed flower bed. But here, just the gomphrena against the soft greys of the artemisia...very, very pretty.

Three giant pink dahlias were set against some big red barberry bushes in the background.

Below them was a groundcover of clematis seedheads.

Like something Dr. Seuss would create, don't you think?

The Japanese anemones were still going strong in this one area of the garden.

In other areas, they were tired and sprawling, breathless even.

Big areas of purple asters were covered with yellow bees...

...and skipper butterflies.

Last year I remember seeing one little tropical milkweed plant. This year? It was scattered just about everywhere. The colors could not be prettier on such a nice fall day.

I found a Big Milkweed Bug giving me a staredown.

But when he saw my camera poking at him, he turned away...

...and started to "walk the plank," what every bug does when they see me following them with my camera.

But if they don't try to escape, they still turn their hind ends toward me and so once again, I get another bug butt shot (but isn't that milkweed gorgeous?).

I almost always (it was "always" before this Sunday) despise wax begonias. But their crazy pink color against the soft gray leaves of the lamb's ears? Really pretty.

I like how the wax begonias wrap around the half moon shapes of the lamb's ears. I've always done close up gardening. I've never had big areas of vanishing points, etc. to landscape before so I have a new appreciation for plants designed to do something in a large space.

But my favorite plant on this pretty fall day with all the crazy colors? One that had turned brown.

I just love those seedheads.

I couldn't find the identification tag but my spidey sense told me it was burnet. It just had to be burnet and when I returned on Tuesday to see if there was a plant tag hidden somewhere I had not looked (I had to know what that plant was!), its name turned out to be Sanguisorba tenuifolia "Purpurea." Its pronounceable name? Bronze-leaved burnet. :-)

Funny, the one plant that got my attention was the one brown plant among the colorful ones. And at that other garden, among all those brown and fading plants? The one plant that was still in full color. Not sure what to make of that but both of those plants were something special and I think they would stand out even if they traded places in the two gardens I saw that day.


Leenie said...

You still have so much color there. We are down to yellows and browns with a little maple red and some purple asters that are too tough to freeze. Thanks for the garden tour. You gave me my flower fix for the day.

Maria said...

Things are now turning really fast. My tulip tree turned yellow overnight and the sugar maple will probably be doing the same tomorrow morning. We haven't had a freeze yet but I know that's in the near future. :-( That means a lot of plants (and some accidental praying mantises) are going to need to be hauled indoors one day soon.

Rural Rambler said...

Beautiful flower shots Maria! The clematis seedheads are funky exquisite!! Awwww, those little bug butts are cute. You are shootin' some very nice Macros :) So you won't think me weird or strange when I tell you that I am pretty sure I love my old worn out spent coneflowers more than when they were all flowered and pink pretty :) I know the goldfinches love them now!