Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall Colors in the PNW Garden

Because our summers here in the PNW are so dry, our fall colors more often than not are shades of brown and crispy. Even with watering every week, and the recent return of our long-delayed fall rain, I still have shrubs and perennials that are sacrificing leaves in a last-ditch attempt to survive.

The lower leaves on my Physocarpus capitatus/Western Ninebark are quite crispy.

Dried up ninebark leaves and seedpods

Twinberry Honeysuckle has browning leaves to match its dried up berries.

Our native elderberry is also crispy.
'Pacific Fire' vine maple has been sporting dried up leaves along with yellow ones for quite a while now, despite watering.

The lower leaves on my purple coneflowers

The forecast for tomorrow calls for a major wind and rain storm, so when the wind comes tomorrow, the leaves will probably fall off and blow away.

But, I do have some real fall colors in my garden.

In just the past couple of weeks, a great many leaves on the pin oak have turned.

There's great color on the leaves of the new paperbark maple too.

Red Twig Dogwood is showing some beautiful color too.

This leaf reminds me of stained glass.

Red Osier Dogwood is a lovely shade of orange-red.

Peony leaves

Serviceberry/Amelanchier alnifolia

Blueberries are renowned for their great fall color.

Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans" against still green hardy Geranium foliage

Even the leaves of edible rhubarb are coloring up, and looking quite stunning.

Bigroot Geranium leaves that are starting to turn really stand out against the still green ones.

The reason why it's called Fall.

The leaves of my new 'Forest Pansy' redbud

I know a lot of my fellow PNW blogger friends are mourning the end of our long dry sunny summer. Not me. I was so sick of watering. Sick of trying to figure out how much they would need to just not die on me, to get by. Sick of watching things crisp up despite the sprinklers.

Hooray for fall rain!


  1. You do indeed have some beautiful colors in your garden, --almost a "smokey" shade-quite pretty.
    I agree with you on being glad summer is over. It's been raining for two solid days here and it feels great to "hunker in" for the season....

  2. I love the fall color of blueberries, there are so many colors combined and so bright. I'm glad the fall rains have started except that I wasn't through with garden preparation, but it will soften up all that dry soil that is like concrete so I can work in it better. I hope to do some transplanting. The geranium is bright too, I had one last year like that looking like a flower.

  3. Lovely color. I really adore dogwoods in the fall. The berries attract the birds and the bright reds are so beautiful. Do you have a fothergilla? They are superb shrubs with a brilliant fall display

  4. Those gentle reds and golden hues make a fall garden a joy to be in...

  5. Sorry your fall is so crunchy, ours is too. I marvel at the gorgeous fall colors of the peonies, mine get black. We have red twig dogwoods, they have gotten black spot, so their fall color isn't very pretty.

  6. I totally agree with you, the dust, the dry....the sprinklers. There is simply not enough time, or water to get everything. We had water restrictions, and it made me so sad to see people wasting it on their lawns.

    But we gardeners know where to look for fall color, love your collection.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  7. You've got some lovely fall color in your garden, Alison. I've noticed down here in Portland the pin oaks are much more colorful, too - many years they just go straight from green to brown. Enjoy the cool and wet!

  8. Blueberry leaves are so pretty! I still have berries on my bushes.

  9. Summer had a good run, once it finally got going. Now it's time for comfy sweaters and reading by the fire. I'm with you in welcoming autumn...but I must remember to plant more things that flame out. Yours are beautiful.


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