Best Fall Ever
Summer may be my favorite season, but this fall–2012–is my favorite fall ever.
For one thing, the beautiful colors have lasted longer here than usual. Usually it seems like autumn comes and goes in about two days, but we’ve been enjoying vibrant foliage and pretty good weather for several weeks now. Perhaps I’ve been more aware of that because my family went to Starved Rock State Park on Columbus Day. It was my first time there, and it was a perfect day. The weather was sunny and cool, and several trees had already put on their fall fashions.
Perhaps I’m more aware of this year’s fall colors because my own front yard garden is displaying them wonderfully, from the bright red burning bush on the north side (left of house) to the deep reds of the dwarf oakleaf hydrangea at the southern edge (right side). I don’t think I’ve ever seen the leaves on that hydrangea turn so beautifully. (I should press and dry some!) It looks great with the purple dome aster blooming by it, and the miscanthus has finally put some plumes up behind them. Meanwhile, the roses and Rosanne geraniums are still blooming away in other parts of the garden because we have not been hit by a hard frost yet.
Best Fall Containers Ever
Another reason this is the best fall ever is that I have the best fall containers ever, too. I used to think that changing container plantings with the seasons would cost too much time and money. However, I have found that changing just a few makes a great impact because I spend so much time viewing the deck from our kitchen as I work as well as enjoying the occasional evening by the fire out there.
I have also discovered how to get a lot of bang for the buck on those container plantings. The four large ornamental kale started out as a $1 cell-pack that I bought in the spring. I planted them in the four corners of a salad bed in the garden, and look what was ready to transplant into my containers this fall–for just 25 cents each!
I also discovered a good source for nice BIG mums a few years ago when I happened to be working at the master gardener office on the day of the Farm Bureau‘s fall flower sale. These shrub-size beauties, which they get from Sunrise Greenhouse, sell for just $7 apiece. This year I got three in three different colors: orange, purple, and yellow.
Summer has not left me. It’s just falling with style!