Garden Photo of the Day

Nancy’s garden in New York, in fall

September--bee on anemone. Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Nancy Stedman

Today’s photos are from Nancy Stedman in Tarrytown, New York. We visited Nancy’s garden almost exactly a year ago (refresh your memory HERE), and today she’s back with some seasonal shots she sent in last week.

Early September–baneberries and hardy begonia

She says, “Of the four years we’ve lived in Tarrytown, this has been, by far, the one with the best fall. Due to unusually pleasant weather-no sudden heat waves or cold snaps-red and yellow leaves stayed on our serviceberries for a couple of weeks, rather than the more typical couple of days.

September–purple millet, sanguisorba, hyssop, and grass

“We have watched our two Japanese maples and two Physocarpus bushes slowly turn from purpleish to red-a process that’s still going on. Our patio was enhanced by views of a fiery maple two houses over. It’s the first tree in the neighborhood to change colors.

September–butterfly bush and zinnias

“Perennials have done well, too. White baneberries, which often quickly go dry, this year lingered and cheered up the entrance to the back garden. And the purple millet I planted in my “prairie garden” provided bones all summer and fall for a shifting parade of perennials. Now it’s early November, and monkshood, Japanese anemones, Persicaria amplexicaulis, and one brave tall nicotiana are still blooming.”

September–butterfly bush and zinnias

Beautiful fall colors, Nancy, and from some unexpected plants! That sanguisorba is one of my favorite plants. So sculptural! Thanks so much for the update.

September–hosta and Iris foetidissima

**** The push is still on–get outside and take some last minute shots, or compile a few you took earlier in the season. I’ll be eternally grateful…. Email them to [email protected]. Thanks! ****

Early October–brilliant leaves on serviceberries
October–canna with sycamore in back
Late October–aster and millet
Late October–brunnera
November–‘Orangeola’ Japanese maple and Carex ‘Evergold’
November–callery pear taking over street

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  1. user-1020932 11/19/2013

    i have really enjoyed all the autumn vistas shared from across the continent and today was no exception. i also re visited your prior feature this morning. glad to see serviceberries used, i love those trees AND the fruit! and thanks for adding yet another plant to my must have list,,,,,,sanguisorba/ that's a new one for me to try

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/19/2013

    Hi, Nancy, you certainly have some wonderful fall plant nice that the autumn weather has allowed everything to look its best for longer than usual. Am I correct in concluding that the millet and sanguisorba are planted in the ground as opposed to being part of a container grouping? They really add a lot and I hope I remember that next spring and give them a try.

  3. mainer59 11/19/2013

    It is hard to believe that such a lush garden is in the small space behind closely positioned houses. I am so glad you included the pear as perspective, and enjoyed comparing it to its flowering photo in your prior post. Your plantings are full and your use of contrasting colors shows the individuals off so well. It's lovely to see all so healthy and not a bit careworn from the long season behind them. There isn't even a single slug hole in that hosta this late in the season.

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/19/2013

    joining in to say I am wild about the sanguisorba and hyssop combo! You have a lot of great late season pairings.

  5. annek 11/19/2013

    I must echo the previous comments concerning your plant pairings. Great combinations. And as I am a big zinnia fan, I particularly enjoyed the butterfly bush and zinnia photo. Looks like there will be a nursery run on sanguisorba across the nation!

  6. User avater
    HelloFromMD 11/19/2013

    Hi Nancy,

    Wow, those doll eyes are so showy, I'l have to try that plant. I'm impressed with the millet. So far I have just been using Pennisetum rubrum. Like treeman I am adding sanguisorba to my 'new plants to try' list. My orangeola's leaves turned brown and dropped very early. Hope it's not in trouble.Your lovely pic reminds me why I planted it. I have lots of slug holes. Do you have to do anything to protect hostas in containers?

  7. tractor1 11/19/2013

    A very brightly hued street thanks to the fall foliage.

    HelloFromMD: Please, what are "doll eyes"?

    And in the picture with the canna, I must be missing it but I don't see a sycamore.

  8. tractor1 11/19/2013

    The tree behind the canna looks like a sycamore MAPLE:

    Beautifully hued fall foliage, a tree to add to my collection.

  9. bee1nine 11/19/2013

    Hi Nancy, A nicely captured photo of your Japanese anemone
    blossoms. Beautiful! And great enticingly naturalizing plant
    combos extending so graciously for you this autumn. Many for
    your birds to savor. Wonderful!
    The Callery pear are so lovely in flower in springtime.
    Somehow, I've noticed they have gloriously provided exceptional fall color in my area THIS year. It may have been because of dry weather conditions during the summer and/or experiencing a late frost..either wonder how
    they are progressing along in color for you, now!?

    For tractor1, Your answer to 'dolls eyes' is White baneberry. 2nd photo down on left side. OK!?

  10. wildthyme 11/19/2013

    Nancy, your observations about a perfect fall certainly show up in your photos. I'm especially partial to your photo of the winding path. Looks like a place for a lovely stroll.

  11. tractor1 11/19/2013

    bee1nine: Thank you, I'd never have known.

  12. greengenes 11/19/2013

    Sweet little garden! I surely wont be afraid to downsize when I get older! Thanks for sharing! I really enjoy starting my day with all of you gardeners! What a fun job to have ...going around and viewing gardens!

  13. GrannyMay 11/19/2013

    Lovely fall photos Nancy! I especially like the zinnias with the butterfly bush and the canna lily echoing the colours of the sycamore.

    In the second photo on the left, there is a begonia that you say is hardy. Does that mean it stays in the ground and survives your winter? I have one that looks very similar, and would love to know more about its hardiness.

  14. GrannyCC 11/19/2013

    Beautiful colour combinations. I love the White baneberry. Quite unusual. thanks for the delightful look at your garden.

  15. cwheat000 11/19/2013

    You have a lot of fun and different plant choices. I think one of the showiest combos is the hot zinnias with the cool butterfly bush. I re-read your last entry. I too love the natural style of Oudolf. You have done a beautiful job making a style usually reserved for expansive gardens, work on an1/8 acre.

  16. Tarrytown 11/19/2013

    Thanks for the nice comments. And, yes, that tree in my neighbor's yard is most likely a maple, not a sycamore. I forgot to change the caption. Isn't sanguisorba great? I bought mine mail order from AvantGardens three years ago and it really wasn't until last summer that the plants became showy. The millet (it's pennisetum 'purple majesty') is incredibly easy to grow from seed and is one of the few tall plants I don't have to stake. The begonia is begonia grandis, which seeds around a lot but is easy to pull out. You can't tell from these photos but the plants have amazing leaves that are reddish on the underside and look like stained glass when backlit.

    I'm particularly partial to the serviceberries myself. They are the right size for a small garden and make it feel, well, homey. One of my favorite times is the two days a year (in early June, I believe) when the red berries turn black (and more tasty, I would guess). At that moment it seems as if half the bird population in my village descends on my garden to devour the fruit.

  17. user-1020932 11/19/2013

    Nancy, the 2 days the berries are ripe are almost as good as the 15 minutes they flower in spring! i do love the Serviceberry trees though, flowers/bark color and texture/berries and GREAT fall color and you're right they fit in small spaces and they do look homey and not so "done"

  18. janeeliz 11/20/2013

    Your fall garden is very lovely-great plants, color, combinations, photos. I LOVE your beautiful white baneberries. I didn't know the plants got so big…stunning!

  19. Tarrytown 11/20/2013

    Someone asked about slugs. When I lived in the Bronx in an extremely shady garden, I engaged in total warfare against the slimey creatures. A previous owner had planted lots of (I think) hosta ventricosa, a quite floriferous plant that has very thin leaves that are like catnip to slugs. I can't tell you how disgusting it was to spend my summer evenings picking literally hundreds of slugs off a stone retaining wall and then throwing them into cups of salt water. I feel--in a mildly guilty way--that for many years I was involved in a kind of genocide. Is someone some day going to bring charges against me in a Geneva animal rights trial?

    Oddly, in my current garden, I have very few slugs. It may be that the gravel paths stop them from migrating or the fact that in a much sunnier garden, I no longer grow many plants that slugs like. (I only have a handful of hostas.) Every now and then I find a slug in a pot from a nursery and in early spring I see a few in the garden. I have no qualms about squashing them right away and that seems to do the trick. On the other hand, I now have to deal with deer and ground hogs. It's always something...

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