Garden Photo of the Day

Glowing Garden at Dusk

Cynthia McCain from Frederick, Maryland is quick with her camera and captured the glow of her garden to share with us!

"The fading light of late afternoon seemed to make the fall colors in my garden glow, so I dashed outside and took a couple shots with my phone. The last picture is of Tamora, one of my English roses, which smells even better than it looks. I keep these and other garden photos to look at in the dark days of February."

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  1. maryannnbben 11/02/2015

    What is the plant in the last picture, the one with the vivid red berries?

    1. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      Hi Mary Ann--it's a "Red Sprite" winterberry. I planted it about four years ago, and every year it has more and more berries. Its pollinator, Jim Dandy, is in the not too distant background.

      1. maryannnbben 11/03/2015

        Thank you, Cynthia. I live some 600 meters above sea level, not sure of my zone, in the foothills of the Jotunheim mountains in Norway and wonder if winterberry would survive here. You would think with a name like that it would feel right at home in our nearly 6 months of winter - more so than I!

        1. cynthiamccain 11/04/2015

          Greetings, MaryAnn! "Red Sprite" is hardy to zone 3 here in the states--that's down to about -30 F. Is it colder than that where you live? I think it looks particularly lovely in the snow!

          1. maryannnbben 11/04/2015

            Good morning, Cynthia. -30F is about -33c and though we can get that cold it is not often (thank heaven!) and seldom lasts long. If I can find it here, I'll give it a try. Thanks for your help and your beautiful inspiring photos.

  2. user-4691082 11/02/2015

    Beautiful garden. I'm sure those photos will bless you in the midst of winter...sigh.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/02/2015

    Cynthia, you certainly have captured some beautiful images that would give light (and hope) to any gardener who is waiting out the Feb. slog of dreariness. Your second down photo is, I'm guessing, of a fothergilla (?) and it looks like an overflowing bowl of candy corn. Is it pretty much in full sun? I have some and they are never that colorful but they also have a lot of shade so maybe that's where I'm going wrong.

    1. User avater
      HelloFromMD 11/02/2015

      Hi Michaele, my Fothergilla is in shade and it turned color. It is F. major 'Mt. Airy'. It's more of a soft peach with some gold.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 11/02/2015

        Nancy, mine are 'Mt Airy' also but I think I miss noticing them at their prettiest because they are in a place I don't focus my attention on. Ha, I'm so busy admiring my muhly grass that comes into sight before the fothergilla. I'm going to make an effort to look at them throughout this week and give them some love!

    2. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      You might try the fothergilla "Blue Shadow." My two seem to have brighter fall foliage than the three Mt. Airy fothergillas I have. They all get quite a bit of sun, except for one of the Blue Shadows, and that results in later coloration, but still bright and beautiful.

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/02/2015

    Cynthia, thanks for sending in the inspiring fall photos! Like MIchaele, I'm wondering about the Fothergilla in the second photo. I'd like to know about its placement, also, as well as if it is a certain cultivar? I'm thinking of getting "Blue Shadow". I"m also wondering about the gorgeous leaves in photo 4. The bush looks like it has nuts or something. At first I thought it was Viburnum nudum that was featured here recently in a post, but the fruit doesn't seem right for a viburnum. Thanks for sharing your great images.

    1. User avater
      HelloFromMD 11/02/2015

      Hi Tim,
      I have Blue Shadows. I just went outside to see if it colored up and it has turned golden with hints of peach. So far I love it. It stays blue all season. The leaves can start off green and then change to blue. It is in afternoon shade with some morning sun.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/02/2015

        Thanks for the endorsement, Nancy. I went to look for it this past weekend at our big, local nursery. They didn't have it, but I did come back with Pinus leucodermis 'Compact Gem' from Iseli. I should have known better than go to the nursery, but it was on sale!!

        1. User avater
          HelloFromMD 11/03/2015

          Just looked that up. C Gem has great texture. Really nice conifer.

    2. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      The fothergilla is indeed Blue Shadow. I have two of them--the one in the photo gets about half a day of sun, with no extra water or attention from me, just my admiration! I also have three Mt. Airy fothergillas, but the Blue Shadows seem to be stronger growers, and then there's their beautiful blue foliage all summer and the gorgeous colors in the fall. The red-leaved shrub is a Franklin tree, and the little pods are its seed capsules.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/03/2015

        Sold! My nursery doesn't have them now at the end of the season, but I'll be looking in the spring. I've been admiring Franklinia for quite a while, and its status as extinct in the wild makes it a really important ornamental tree, in my opinion. I've always heard they are finicky, but I corresponded with someone on another blog who has a rather large specimen and she said it has needed no coddling or extra care. Would you mind sharing your opinion and experience with your 6 year old Franklin tree/shrub?

        1. cynthiamccain 11/04/2015

          Hi Tim! I'm sure you'll be happy with Blue Shadow. As for the Franklinia, it was my second attempt, as the first one didn't make it. Because of its history I wanted to try again, and especially since a local nurseryman told me I wouldn't be able to grow it. I purchased my present tree from a mail order source, and it has been nearly carefree, except I will tell you that during its first year it was very chlorotic (I had planted it with lots of Leafgro, compost, and mulched it with pine needles) but after two spray applications of chelated iron it greened right up. Probably my soil. It has been fine ever since. This past summer I did have a time with Japanese beetles in the flowers--I went out twice a day and picked them off. I hope you can find one to plant and that you enjoy it as much as I do mine! ?

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/04/2015

            Thanks for sharing your tips and experience. Very helpful. I've found several sources and I am also being tempted by x Gordlinia grandiflora. My limiting factor is space; I may have to look about for things to remove!

          2. cynthiamccain 11/05/2015

            I hear you! I've had my eye ob the Gordlinia as well as the "Wildfire" Nyssa sylvatica, if I could just add another half an acre to our property.

            Question: What is the rose pictured in your profile photo? It's lovely.

          3. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/05/2015

            I'm getting the feeling we have similar tastes, and perhaps similar temperaments. I had meant to write earlier that if someone told me I couldn't grow something, that would make me bound and determined to try. Funny, I just learned of Nyssa sylvatica this year when local arboretum volunteers planted one as a street tree a few houses up. Killer foliage and amazing fall color. The wildfire cultivar looks amazing!
            On the Franklinia/Gordonia topic, I recently learned that Stewartia are closely allied, which is not surprising when you look at the flowers and fall color. I am currently killing (unfortunately) Stewartia koreana. Have any Stewartia?
            My profile picture is one of my tree peonies: yachiyo tsubake. cheers.

          4. cynthiamccain 11/05/2015

            I have no Stewartias. They're so similar to the Franklinia--which I planted first--I didn't want to "dilute" the impact. Have you had any experience with Oxydendrum arboreum? Are you north, south, east or west?

          5. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/05/2015

            I've only seen Oxydendrum in photos and fell in love., buy no room for more trees that attain any size on my small lot. I'm in Columbus, Ohio. I did go to graduate school in Baltimore, so am familiar with the climate out your way. It's a tiny bit milder here in summer and quite a bit colder in winter. We're outside of the snow-belt, however, so we don't get reliable snow cover to help moderate those low temps.

          6. cynthiamccain 11/06/2015

            Thanks, Tim!

          7. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/05/2015

            Here's a bigger photo.The flowers on my plant are a little lighter or darker depending on the part of the plant, plus they lighten just a touch as they age. A real keeper.

          8. cynthiamccain 11/05/2015

            Oh my! Before I thought it was an exceptionally gorgeous rose; now I see it's an exceptionally beautiful peony! My compliments!

        2. cynthiamccain 11/04/2015

          I think I may have forgotten to hit "post" when I replied to your most recent comment. So if this is a repetition please ignore!
          The first Franklinia alatamaha I tried to grow never made it past its first year. Because of its history, and especially because a local nurseryman told me I wouldn't be able to grow it, I purchased a smaller one from a mail order source. The only real problem I had was that at the beginning of its first summer it was chlorotic; two applications of liquid chelated iron solved that, and it has been fine ever since. When first planted it was barely three feet high; it's now around seven feet tall. This past summer Japanese beetles infested its flowers--I went out twice a day to pick them off. I hope you can find one and that you enjoy it as much as I do mine! ?

  5. VikkiVA 11/02/2015

    Beautiful capture of fall color. You have a stunning garden Cynthia! Vikki in VA

  6. wGardens 11/02/2015

    Great shots... makes me want to be working in my garden right now~ it is such a gorgeous day! I am wondering about the ID of the 4th photo as well. Thanks for sharing your fall garden with us!!

    1. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      It's my Franklin tree, about six years old now. Pretty small when I planted it, but now taller than I am.

      1. wGardens 11/03/2015

        Thanks for letting us know! I will look that one up!

  7. greengenes 11/02/2015

    Beautiful pictures, Cynthia! Great colors and I sure know what you mean about looking at your pictures in the winter. It helps me to remember where I planted what when I go to put in a new plant. But I am dying to find out what the red berried bush is in the last picture! Thanks for brightening up this dark and gloomy day!

  8. foxglove12 11/02/2015

    Gorgeous bright colors. Thanks for sharing. We may all need to see these again in February ?

  9. User avater
    HelloFromMD 11/02/2015

    Hi Cynthia, your garden is lovely and looks like you have a nice location in Frederick. A field with an old oak behind your garden? Are those hardy mums? Really lovely colors. I like the bed in picture 4. Looks like the shrub with the beautiful red leaves is on the end of that bed. What is that plant? A great choice for fall color. Do you visit/shop at Surreybrooke Farm?

    1. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      Thank you! There is a field behind the garden--at least for now! Yes, the mums are hardy, and the shrub is a Franklin tree, planted about six years ago. It has beautiful white flowers all summer and continues the show into fall with the red and orange colors. And yes, I love Surreybrooke! ☺️

      1. User avater
        HelloFromMD 11/03/2015

        My email is [email protected]. I'll let you know if I visit there and maybe you could join me. I try to get there at least once a year. What are the names of your hardy mums? Really like the colors.

        1. cynthiamccain 11/04/2015

          I'd like that--I'm usually there a couple times in the spring, it's my "go to" place for potting up my containers and just general feel-good browsing.

          As for the mums, the first one is "Will's Wonderful," the other two are ones I picked up a couple years ago in New York. Tomorrow I'll go out kand look to see if their tags are still there. ?

  10. GrannyMay 11/02/2015

    Thanks for sharing the brilliant fall colours, Cynthia. I too am curious about what plant is in photo 4 and the berried one in the last photo. Love the rose!

    1. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      The red leaved shrub is actually a Franklin tree, and the one with all the berries is a Red Sprite winterberry. ?

  11. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 11/02/2015

    Beautiful garden, Cynthia. The last roses of summer always seem more precious and yours is a beauty. Enjoy your photos this winter but on the bright side, it looks like it will be a warmer than usual one.

  12. Meelianthus 11/02/2015

    Well I guess we are all waiting for the name of the 'mystery' plant. Beautiful, beautiful gardens Cynthia, such wonderful colors.

    1. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      Probably you mean the Franklin tree!

  13. Luvfall 11/02/2015

    Looks like a winterberry to me. I have a couple, thought I'd have stems for holiday decorating but the birds pick them clean.

    1. cynthiamccain 11/03/2015

      Yep, it's Red Sprite.

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