Garden Photo of the Day

Fall in South Carolina

Autumn is different in the South

close up of prickly pear cactus fruit

Johanna Smith here in Aiken, South Carolina, with pleasures and treasures from my fall garden.

close up of Meyer lemon treeMy Meyer lemon tree (Citrus × meyeri, Zones 8–11) has become as wide as my shed, and I’m hoping for lots of lemons next year.

banana plant with a light pink flower in bloomThis a banana plant (Musa sp.) given to me by a neighbor. I have no idea what variety it is, and neither does she, but it was quite a surprise to see this beautiful flower from my bedroom window. The hummingbirds love it too. If I get bananas, that will be a bonus.

close up of prickly pear cactus fruitMy prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.) is showing off with large purple fruit, which adds color to my fall garden.

close up of a large arborvitae shrubThis is a huge, 14-year-old arborvitae (Thuja sp., Zones 5–8) purchased at a nursery yard sale. We’ve named it “The Deluxe Bird Hotel.” It’s a home to mockingbirds, blue jays, and many other birds.

small garden bed with large rock and blue agaveMy neighbor gave me these beautiful blue-hued plants. She calls them century plants. Whether they’re agave or mangave, I don’t know, but I love the blue color. (Editor’s note: They look like Agave americana, Zones 8–10.) In March of this year they were barely visible above the soil.

close up of a tomato plantThe tomato plant I planted in late July rewarded me with tomatoes. So far I have picked a few for salad and sandwiches.

close up of Osmanthus fragransMy osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans, Zones 7–10) were in full bloom, and the scent was delightful. Osmanthus flowers may be small, but they pack an intense scent that fills a whole garden.

close up of small tree with dark, almost black foliageMy ‘Black Diamond’ crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘Black Diamond’, Zones 6–10) got in on the act. The dark foliage is a nice contrast to the yellow and bright green surrounding it.


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  1. User avater
    simplesue 12/06/2022

    I love your “Deluxe Bird Hotel.” I hope I have birds using mine like they use yours, when mine mature.
    Sure with I could grow a nice Osmanthus fragrans like you have.
    Those century plants you have are magnificent- but I want to warn you about a story my husband told me- when he was young and used to live in California and he had to remove one for somebody and he said it caused his skin to turn red and was painful! So if you trim it use gloves! (

  2. wittyone 12/06/2022

    That flower on the banana tree is something to see. I didn't realize that they flowered with something so large and showy, but of course they must in order to fruit later on.

    Is it warm enough to do some gardening through the winter down there? I used to think I would like to live in a milder climate and be able to be out doing things through the winter, but now am glad for the winter's rest.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/06/2022

    Really pretty.

  4. btucker9675 12/06/2022

    Love that prickly pear fruit. I have a Black Diamond crape myrtle, too - such beautiful foliage color.

  5. jos29803 12/10/2022

    Thank you all for your comments. My favorite thing about comments is how each person sees or feels a different way about the same garden. It inspires me to continue
    making my garden a place of hope for all to enjoy.

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