Garden Photo of the Day

An autumn day at home

I was home yesterday with the last bit of a cold, with no access to the usual batch of photos, so today, check out some things that were still going on in my garden yesterday afternoon. Now’s the time of year when I start to appreciate the small things that are left. The different textures of the grass blooms around my yard, the last gasp of my tropicals, and the subtle textures and colors of the remaining plants before the first frost, which should be any day now. Forgive the photo quality, but enjoy.

All photos/illustrations by Michelle Gervais

I find Pennisetum ‘Moudry’ to be a ho-hum grass in summertime, but in fall it is spectacular!
I don’t have the heart to dismantle this container yet. The elephant ear is now too big to bring indoors, and the tibouchina and strobilanthes will likely go to the compost heap. I’ll be so sad to see them go. 
Miscanthus sinensis blooms against the barn.
Japanese maple seeds.
One of my favorite container plants, Solanum quitoense, brandishing its thorns.
Miscanthus blooms against the burgundy foliage of ‘Diabolo’ ninebark.
The bright red fall color of oakleaf hydrangea starting to peek through.
Variegated solomon’s seal turning yellow for fall.
Doublefile viburnum turning a deep reddish bronze.
Garlic chives just keep getting better and better after they flower!
I’m still trying to decide if I have room for this little geranium inside for the winter…is it worth it? Probably, but I’m sure to kill it indoors. 
The sage doesn’t know it’s almost wintertime–it looks great! I’ve been cutting big stems for fall bouquets. Yum!


View Comments


  1. ncgardener 10/25/2011

    Beautiful shots! Grasses really seem to come alive in the fall.

  2. trashywoman62 10/25/2011

    I fell in love with Pennisetum 'Moudry' 4 years ago and planted 3 small clumps of it along the outside border of a partial shade perennial bed. It was beautiful and prolific!! The 2nd year I had a full 6 by 4 feet area of Moudry!! OUT it came about mid summer before the seed heads could find new homes!!

    Now 2 yrs after removing the plants, I am still removing babies, even in my lawn nearby!! The dark plumes are beautiful but they DO have a dark side!

    I am in Central Illinois with hard freezes and lots of snow, which did not seem to bother the reproduction of this grass.

  3. Deanneart 10/25/2011

    Lovely finish to the season... I love the juxtaposition of ageing foliage and blazing color this time of the year.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/25/2011

    Your lovely pictures show that you walk the walk as well as talk the talk when it comes to good gardening. I can see that texture is an important element in your plant compositions which really keeps things interesting even as the flowers are waning.

  5. LRaye 10/25/2011

    Nice photos, Michelle - thanks for sharing your garden with us. I agree with trashywoman about Pennisteum 'Moudry'. Last weekend in my friend's garden I was blown away by a large clump of it with gorgeous nearly black stems and blooms and wide, curving leaves and said "I want it!" "Go ahead," she said, "you can have any of these seedlings that have popped up all over my garden." It was everywhere. I quickly changed my mind!

  6. Runs_with_Pruners 10/25/2011

    Thanks for sharing Michelle! Feel better soon!

  7. skevanston 10/26/2011

    So often I am so busy working in my garden that I don't take time to enjoy it. So I sometimes make myself go out with my camera, NOT to document what I want to change next year, but to just allow me to notice what is there. Not only did I enjoy your garden in your photos, but I am reminded to enjoy mine as well. Thanks!

  8. codini 10/26/2011

    Thanks Michelle for pics of your late garden. I'm in CT also and get great pleasure from my October garden, late asters, perennial mums, a few calendula and viola and renewed coreopsis. So much loves the colder weather. I'm pruning raspberries, and even finding some late fruit there!

  9. littleloiee 11/01/2011

    Nobody on your site seems to mention that we in New England were hit with the worst storm on record since the Civil War.Trees and large branches down flooded basement no electricity such as my son has in New Jersey live electrical wires on the street. These are the condition in Cranford,N.J.My son and his wife were bailing water in the freezing cold and his boss told him to come to work as it was warm in the office!!!!My questions are these my Redbud and my Star Magnolia have sustained a lot of damage as the snow was wet and heavy. The town tree warden came buy and hacked away at my beautiful Redbud.Since it was planted on the berm belonging to the town he removed two large chunks from the central two branches. I would appreciate any advice anyone would have on what to do. Also have not gotten in my Iris or multitudinous bulbs yet. The ground is not frozen. Is it too late??? What about the grass seed,can it be put down now in the bare spots????

  10. Ruth 11/02/2011

    littleloiee, cut us some slack, please. We're in Connecticut,and many of us have been coping with power outages and downed trees. Without power, we can't even turn on our computers, much less post. I'm just getting online now for the first time since Saturday. My yard looks like a war zone, too. As for your specific questions, I hope others will weigh in as well, but I'd advise doing nothing right now with the redbud. You can certainly plant your bulbs, but I would wait until spring for putting down grass seed. That is, I would wait in Connecticut; I'm not sure if it's significantly warmer where you live in New Jersey.

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