Garden Photo of the Day

Mary Spencer’s Fall 2023 Garden

Revisiting a garden to see how the seasons change

stone garden path surrounded by plants in fall

We’re in Westminster, Maryland, today to see how fall is treating Mary Spencer’s garden. Last time we visited Mary it was in the spring (Spring in Mary’s Garden), so it is fun to see how different the garden looks at the other end of the growing season.

garden in fall with red flowers and colorful foliageA beautiful combination of fall leaf colors from the trees and shrubs contrasts with flowers from impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) that haven’t been hit by frost yet and so are still flowering away.

small seating area in the garden with container plantingsA spot to sit and soak up the autumnal beauty

close up of tree with fall foliageIt pays to slow down and look at the details. In the background is a cloud of incredible fall leaves, and in the foreground a tree trunk looks as if it has a pair of eyes.

close up of fall container planting with yellow flowers and ornamental cabbageA fall planter features rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3–7, but short lived and usually grown as an annual), ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum, Zones 9–11 or as an annual), and ornamental cabbage (Brassica oleracea, Zones 6–10, biennial).

planter of pink mums next to perennials with fall foliageA pumpkin, some pink mums (Chrysanthemum hybrid, hardiness varies by cultivar), and a purple flamingo bring pops of color to the changing foliage of perennials, including Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9).

close up of beautyberry shrub in fallBeautyberry (Callicarpa japonica, Zones 6–8) has intense purple berries that look great over a long stretch of later summer into winter, but they may never look better than when the foliage is turning color, making a purple-and-yellow display that is just beautiful.

stone garden path surrounded by plants in fallPerennials usually don’t have quite the intense fall color of trees and shrubs, but they still make a layer of gold along the ground, with promises of returning in the spring with bright new leaves and flowers.

pumpkins and fall container plantings in front of a garagePots of flowers, pumpkins, and a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) make a seasonally perfect display in front of the garage.


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  1. User avater
    simplesue 11/09/2023

    Beautiful observations of the garden in autumn.
    Autumn is very becoming in your pretty garden, so many colors, thanks for sharing!

  2. btucker9675 11/09/2023

    So pretty and isn't beauty berry just a wonderful plant!

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