Garden Photo of the Day

Fall in Anne’s Northern Garden

A quiet season in the garden

various shrubs wit fall color

We’re off to Canada today to visit Anne’s garden.

You have visited my garden before (A Garden That Works With Nature Instead of Fighting It). We are located not far from Ottawa, Ontario, in a rural development. I thought it would be nice to visit it in autumn, a few years later.

Gardening on the edge of an arid alvar environment is sometimes a challenge but often a delight. The trick is to work with the environment instead of trying to change it. The limestone outcroppings all over our garden are a feature of the alvar environment, and we have embraced them.

Since the last time, I have added a permaculture berm in a corner of the front yard and have grown some pumpkin and squash on it. I have continued to encourage native plants in the borders (e.g., asters, goldenrods, columbines) and have noticed a distinct increase in pollinators visiting. I have also planted a pollinator garden area on the side (anise hyssop, echinops, lysimachia, etc.) and have taken out some invasive species (Norway maple, European buckthorn). The latter is still a major issue.

The garden is an ever-changing organism. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep on top of it, but then, nature has its way.

I hope you enjoy my fall garden.

trees and shrubs with fall foliageIn this mid-fall view from the road at the entrance to the property you can see red maple (Acer rubrum, Zones 3–9), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina, Zones 3–8), ivory silk lilac (Syringa reticulata, Zones 3–7), and Ginkgo biloba (Zones 3–8).

close up of staghorn sumac foliageThe staghorn sumac in fall color

garden pond surrounded by pink and purple flowersAround the pond there is a potted mum (Chrysanthemum hybrid, hardiness varies by cultivar) along with Hemerocallis (Zones 3–8), New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Zones 4–8), and Van Houtte spirea (Spiraea × vanhottei, Zones 3–8).

pink hydrangeas and yellow rudbeckia fulgida flowersA photo from early fall shows Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ (Zones 3–8), Rudbeckia fulgida (Zones 3–9), and Paeonia (Zones 3–8) leaves.

various pumpkins and squash on front porch stepsThe bounty of a permaculture patch from a previous year—squash and pink pumpkins!

close up of purple New England aster next to pondIncluding this New England aster, we have at least three varieties of native asters on the property.

bright pink hydrangea with various faded plants in late fallHydrangeas in deep fall still show signs of life, but the phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 5–9) and goldenrod (Solidago sp.) are spent. 

front yard garden with plants fading in late fallUnder the cedars: a view of the front garden in deep fall

garden pathway in late fallHere is the front walk looking toward the road, with the permaculture berm in the distance on the left. The property is dominated by cedars (Thuja occidentalis, Zones 2–7), which are native to this alvar-bordering region.

various shrubs wit fall colorThe cedars have shed their autumn leaves. Native milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Zones 3–9) leaves are turning gold in the foreground.


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  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/27/2023

    Love those fall colors.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 11/27/2023

    Such a beautiful Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ plant!
    I do love your front walk looking toward the road, with the permaculture berm, so natural and interesting twists and turns and plants everywhere!
    I went back and looked at your other garden photos again, so pretty and well done!

  3. btucker9675 11/27/2023

    What a lovely garden - so natural and graceful. I'm working on getting up the courage to put in a pond, hoping that would keep the silly frogs out of our pool!

  4. [email protected] 11/27/2023

    I'm another fan of your "Vanilla Strawberry " hydrangea. Made me realize I need one!
    Very nice garden- Thanks for sharing.

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