Garden Photo of the Day

Another Reader’s Favorite Plants

Startling plants at the end of the season

Carol Verhake is sharing some photos of her favorite garden plants. I hope you’ll send in your favorites as well!

Here in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, in my Zone 6/7 garden, I enjoy the transition to autumn. The changing leaf color is evident in the vibrant yellow of my bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora, Zones 5–9) and hickory trees (Carya species, Zones 4–8), and I adore the red-orange color of my Stewartia (Zones 5–9). My variegated stellar pink dogwood (Cornus ‘Variegated Stellar Pink’, Zones 5–9) is beautiful all season long, but its leaves become tinged in pink as the fall progresses, an eye-catching look especially when backlit.

In the flower department, I love the orchid-like flowers of my Tricyrtis (toad lily, Zones 4–8); I only wish the deer didn’t love them too! The berries on my Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’ (beautyberry, Zones 5–8) steal the show with their intense color, and I like watching the birds enjoy them even if it means fewer berries for me to admire. I like spending time in my garden for as long as I can. My firepit makes some relaxing moments possible even as the temperature falls and the days shorten.

I like using what’s available in the garden for transitioning containers. I used redtwig dogwood, Osmanthus, conifer greens, and dried hydrangea blooms to carry a fall container into the winter season.

Bottlebrush buckeyesBottlebrush buckeyes get their name from their spikes of white flowers in the summer, but their fall color is pretty spectacular as well.

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’ is stunning in the fall, with brilliant purple berries that last until the birds finish eating them up.

winter floral arrangementClippings from the garden transform a container into a beautiful arrangement for the winter.

The firepit helps take the edge off chilly autumn and winter days.

hickory treesTall hickory trees in their autumn glory catching the sun.

Stewartia have lovely flowers and bark, but it is hard to beat their fall color.

Many plants for the shade garden bloom in the spring, but Tricyrtis bucks the trend by putting out these intricate blooms in the fall.

variegated stellar pink dogwoodThe leaves of variegated stellar pink dogwood flush an incredible shade of pink as they begin to change color for the fall. This variety has a beautiful display of pink flowers in the spring, but it is hard to imagine they could be as beautiful as these leaves.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

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To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/05/2019

    I really enjoyed reading your narrative as well as perusing your pictures. It's obvious and understandable that you love not only the entirety of your beautiful garden but also the individual plants that make it up. Thank you for sharing.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/05/2019

    Oh, I adore fall colors. Sadly, we really didn't have good color this year due to our summer drought. I adore hickory & have a teeny, tiny one planted. Wonder if I will ever see mine as big as yours?

    1. User avater
      treasuresmom 12/05/2019

      Forgot to say that the Bottlebrush buckeye is stunning.

  3. cheryl_c 12/05/2019

    It is fun to see what 'favorite plants' other gardeners choose - each time so far there have been two or three that are my favorites also. LOVE your buckeye, and your calicarpa! Our birds (usually cardinals, but sometimes mockingbirds) never eat the berries until well past what WE consider prime - when they are black and mushy! Must taste better then! Thanks for sharing, especially with telling your story.

  4. nwphillygardener 12/05/2019

    In your photo with the fire pit, I can see Tinantia pringlei still blooming up a constellation of blue sparkles. It takes a hard freeze for that perennial to slow down.
    I'm glad to have noticed this year that some Tricyrtis can survive some early deer browsing and actually set new buds (perhaps even more numerous than the undisturbed Toad Lily.)

  5. User avater
    simplesue 12/05/2019

    Love the scene of the fire pit and one chair, quiet solitude of Autumn.

  6. btucker9675 12/05/2019

    Thank you for these beautiful autumn garden scenes. The hickories are just magnificent!

  7. perenniallycrazy 12/06/2019

    What a sweet garden!

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