Fall colors in the late summer garden

Check out the grape leaves!



Geez. The contrast with the lemon and bamboo could not be more stark.


It seems like I usually enjoy those red leaves in the softer light of autumn. It's not autumn yet.


Perhaps this early color is an by-product of my infrequent watering. Not pruning very frequently either, apparently.


But if I'm not pruning, why is my compost bin so full?


There is some evidence that I do still garden down in my nursery (nursery==metal shelves in the back corner). I can't seem to refresh the succulent pots on the roof or front steps without propagating the clippings. (On TV they call this hoarding.). Anyway, this means I always have extra succulents... Right now I have a whole bunch of fragrant Aeonium balsamiferum in 1-gallon pots if anyone is interested...


Anyway. Back to the garden. Where it looks like fall, in general...


I should pick that lemon before a rodent does.


I tend to have a lot of purple in fall. This is Salvia 'Jean's Purple Passion', the product of a local Salvia lady who died a few years ago. Well, she was quite old. Annie's Annuals is still selling the plant. It's a good salvia for shade, as its parents come from the cloud forests in Mexico, as opposed to the sunnier, dry areas most salvias seem to come from.


Elsewhere in San Francisco, princess plant (Tibouchina urvilleana) flowers all year. Not so much in mine, however.


Here's some summer. Madia elegans. I don't seem to have as much this year as I usually do. Only one plant flowering? I usually have a few volunteers. You know I always worry about my wildflowers becoming inbred in the small garden. I bought fresh seed at Larner Seeds last week, so I can bring up more for next year.


Madia is allegedly a very common California wildflower, yet I have never seen it in the wild (have you?). I see its close cousins from the genus Hemizonia often enough. I would like to get some of those in my garden too, but I'd have to pick the seeds myself. Hemizonia has not entered horticulture to my knowledge.

More yellow, from Tithonia diversifolia, a subtropical plant that is waaay to big for a small garden. Last year this guy started blooming in fall. This year, late summer. Underneath the green canopy, dead leaves hang on for a long time. You can see them in this picture if you look. Honestly, I like it. There's a "lost garden" vibe to it that I think is groovy.


After I took this picture, I did a little deadheading.


More yellow with the bronze fennel. I should probably do some dead-heading there too, if only to keep volunteers to a minimum. I have quite a bit of fennel in the garden, but no fennel volunteers yet. I guess that's a good thing.


At some distance away, the red fuchsia flowers.


After all, one does not want one's reds too close to one's yellows.


cloverann said...

My Rogers Red grape is still all green! And water has been reduced this year, too. When mine is hurting for water the leaves shrivel and brown at the edges. Your garden is usually ahead of mine, though. Maybe it's the cooling weather that spurred on the red? Your post made me smile, as usual. I grew Tithonia rotundifolia once, and loved it! It got huge here, too, but it was in a spot (for once!)that could handle it.

Christopher C. NC said...

If it makes you feel any better I saw all kinds of dogwood, down low mind you, way more red than they should be at the end of August. It's not just your garden getting red early. Precisely how far away is that red fuchsia from the nearest glaring yellow? What is a the correct safe distance?