Traditionally autumn is illustrated with New England foliage but every gardener in every region knows a different aesthetic. In the West, with so many different plants that grow here, we can have both traditional and nontraditional autumn color.
I did a recent post about California autumn and it seems so limited now that November is here. Autumn keeps coming on, and indeed will probably not peak until late in the month. So I will expand by going outside California and include Oregon for this round of photos.
Here, in Hoyt Arboretum in Portland we see vivid oranges and yellows, first here in the staghorn sumac:
And here Cotinus ‘Grace’. Standing under these tall Cotinus and looking up with backlight, the leaves take on the luminescence of a stainglass window.
Also in Portland is this marvelous garden design by Sean Hogan; and really and what makes it so wonderful this time of year is the borrowed scenery of Liquid Amber trees outside of the garden, which provides background color from both the front garden . . .
. . . and from the back garden:
Notice how autumn sage is still going strong.
Another Oregon garden that is enhanced by borrowed scenery of autumn is the O’Byrne garden and what they called the chaparral garden section of summer-dry plants.
The still green leaves and red fruit of their variegated Cornus kousa tree are also enhanced by the borrowed fall foliage beyond the tree.
A few years ago I went to Digging Dog Nursery in Mendocino to photograph autumn geraniums. I just could not stop taking pictures in the fall gardens there. Gary Ratway is a brilliant designer and his wife Deborah Wigham has a way with plants. These hornbeams columns with glowing with fall color.
I couldn’t resist these necklaces of a Berberis.
And the fall bouquet that Deborah put together that day, November 5, was simply astounding.
I don’t think any western garden is complete without ornamental grasses and autumn is when they really shine, especially when backlit as this Miscanthus sinensis ‘Silberturm’.
And grasses group together on a hillside garden meadow with flowering Salvia leucantha.
A truly unexpected autumn vignette is this Jelly Palm in Ruth Bancroft Garden, delicious orange fruit scattered the ground in the last post, but when I reviewed that file I realized the whole tree is fantastically set off by the colors of borrowed scenery.
And I must finish with a very classic fall foliage combination that would be at home in New England – this is the garden at Filoli, the way it will look later in November.
I hope all of you have a chance to get out and enjoy the fall colors. They are out there to be found. Go find beauty.