Garden Photo of the Day

The Fall Transition

Linda Skyler bids a seasonal adieu to her Bainbridge Island garden in Washington state. 

"A few Fall photos from the soon to be gone gardens as Fall sets in more each day. At this moment plantings seem to really be enjoying the cooler temps and some are having a flush of flowers that will be gone with the first frost unfortunately."

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  1. user-7007498 11/12/2015

    I love the garden beds in pictures 3 and 4. Such wonderful use of texture. Also, the photo with the steps and terracing is so nice. I would want to walk these steps daily. While I love my Zone 6b garden, I do admit I get envious of what you can do in zone 8b. Thanks for sharing you gardens.

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Thank you Kevin. The photo with the terracing is sort of a 'no-mans land', very root bound from very large trees (firs and Madronas), native Huckleberry,etc. The terracing bricks allowed us to fill in more soil and since this is one of the few really sunny spots in my afternoon property I put in some blueberries and strawberries. My husband put in the steps and made the railing as it was a very steep slope and he didn't want me to fall and break my nose! I do go up there often.

  2. user-1020932 11/12/2015

    always a beauty and always a pleasure!

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Thanks Jeff, so glad you enjoyed.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/12/2015

    Yours is such a lovely and well loved garden, Linda. Many of your plants still look in peak condition as if they have no idea winter is just around the corner. Do you gather up most of your containers to winter in a protected spot or can they withstand the outside temps that come your way? Is that a variegated pieris japonica in photo11. I also love the little tucks of black mondo grass in that picture...really adds another touch of sophistication to that grouping.

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Hello Meander ~ Many of the plants have really faded in the last couple of weeks since I took those photos, so I guess I am finally admitting to myself that winter really IS just around the corner. I put most of my pots on a back covered patio where they are fairly safe. I finally got a clue and don't purchase anything that can't make it to 20 degrees or even 10. I know you get much colder but teens are really cold for the PNW and doesn't happen a lot. The variegated Pieris is about 8 years old now and took forever before it did anything. Guess it is happy there now.

  4. Jay_Sifford 11/12/2015

    Hi Linda. I would SO love to garden in your neck of the woods. I seem to share your affinity for juxtaposition: size, shape, color and texture. With all that going on, flowers are merely the icing on the cake. Beautiful garden!

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Thank you Jay. I don't do a lot of flowers as I have so little sun but discover more and more beautiful things for the shade garden as the trees grow and cover the sun. Just purchased a 'Fatshedera' and it will join the Fatsia 'Spiderweb' in the full shade on the side of our house.

  5. jagardener 11/12/2015

    Still very beautiful although its fall. I endorse all that JB said. Enjoy until...

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Thank you jagardener. It is all fading fast and soon the gardens will be bare - until Spring.

  6. user-4691082 11/12/2015

    All I can say is lush and tropical looking! You have done a magnificent job at creating an oasis. I love your nook also. Very private! I can't get my black mondo grass to grow tall like yours. Is it all shade where you have it? Mine spreads some but...nothing like yours! Beautiful!

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Thank you Rhonda, and yes, the Mondo grass is mostly in all shade and it does spread. I am continually digging it up and spreading it around and it seems to enjoy the moist areas.

  7. greengenes 11/12/2015

    Wow! So nice to see your gardens today Linda. I will show these pictures to Robin so he will know how you garden! Great place you have created! I like the gazebo area that your husband put in. This would be fun to sit under while its raining. We must say goodbye to all the wonderful colors and textures as the plants take a rest. But there is hope of this next spring to once again bring such beauty!

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Hi Jeanne ~ Yes, we really enjoyed the gazebo this summer and I can hardly wait to sit in there on a snowy day. And you are so right - the plants all need to rest now, as do we - RIGHT?! ^_^

  8. User avater
    gringopeligroso 11/12/2015

    LOVE your Fern Collection!! SO many and different treasures! Each time my eyes wander into your views, I spot another!! I'm envious of your Phorium! Perhaps a common element out there, but only in contained gardens, here, and rare at that and because of that fact. And, your spots of colour with Begonias are nice!! I'm learning how not to kill them!! :-0 (Too much mothering on my part, I believe.) I'll also echo Meander's comment on the Pieris!! Y'all have a couple which have been there a while, but the variegation is stunning!!

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Hello Jesse ~The Phorium did become quite large and was lovely for quite some time but I don't really have a proper place to store such a large plant and they do not appreciate a very cold winter. It survived okay on a back patio but then started to look really bad after a couple of bad winters (the photo is several years old) so I dumped it. Sad. I have found with the Begonias that they really don't like to be in the ground here - too wet and cold, so I always put them in pots. The Pieris is 7 or 8 years old and took ages before it grew. Thanks Jesse.

      1. User avater
        gringopeligroso 11/12/2015

        Thanx!!! I DO tend to be a bit heavy on the hose end, so I'll bet you're right. My begonias are also in containers for removal and protection from our cold, and most are still alive.....albeit NOT in show quality, I'm sorry to say... But, HEY, did I say they're still alive?? (Baby steps are a good thing!!) A couple actually look to be planning a comeback...if'n I'll just leave them to their own devices!!
        And, while we're on the subject, I do believe Tim is right on the Begonia boliviensis. All of those cultivars (of that specie, ) are my faves, (Bonfire, Bossa Nova, Santa Cruz Sunset, etc.,) and I just found out this late Spring past that there's at least one white variety available!! It's on my wish list for next growing season!

        1. Meelianthus 11/13/2015

          Good luck Jesse - we all have so many ideas running thru our heads after reading these blogs and dreaming about next Spring. Isn't it just great !

  9. GrannyMay 11/12/2015

    Gorgeous, as usual, Linda! I'm sure it has changed a lot over the last week or two. Is that double white fuchsia (in the photo with the white impatiens) a hardy one for this area? I'd love to know its name if it is hardy. I recently found a new hardy one called F. 'DebRon's Snow Fairy' that is as showy as F. 'Double Otto' but is white and pink. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it survives the winter.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/12/2015

      That's beautiful, May. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, too!

      1. GrannyMay 11/12/2015

        Thanks Tim. BTW, I have a Stewartia pseudocamellia, 5 years old and very slow-growing, which turns the same gorgeous colour as Linda's.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/12/2015

          I love the Stewartias. I researched and agonized before settling on S. koreana, for many reasons. It was beautiful, nice sized and cost a fortune. This summer it wilted and died branch by branch, until only a quarter of the tree was left. I guess if I lose it, I'll have space for a relative, like Frankinia alatamaha or x gordlinia.......

          1. GrannyMay 11/13/2015

            Oh, how sad. I have high hopes for my Stewartia. Mine was an impulse purchase, from a private seller who propagates and then sells his favourites. I first tucked it into a small spot that gets water-logged during our wet winters. It did survive there for 4 years, but had no room, even for its modest size, so I moved it this January. It seems to be happy in its new spot and even bloomed for the first time, though our summer was extremely dry. I haven't checked to see if they might be prone to wilt or other nasty diseases.

    2. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      That is a beauty May! I'm sorry that I don't have the name of the all white fuchsia and this

      is it's first year here so we will see about the hardiness. I am hopeful as it was difficult to find an all white one. Tim, however, has a name for it and he is probably right so you will find that on his post.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/12/2015

        Oops. Nope. I was talking about the white begonia, but I love your Fuchsia, too.

      2. GrannyMay 11/12/2015

        I found a few double whites via Google - 'Annabel', 'White King', 'Igloo' and 'Flying Cloud' but exactly how hardy they might be seems to be open to interpretation. Good luck with yours!

        1. Meelianthus 11/13/2015

          Thanks for sharing your googling May. We'll hope for the best this winter!

  10. GrannyCC 11/12/2015

    Always love your garden Linda. It is so full of beautiful plants, wonderful hardscaping and beautiful views down meandering pathways. This will be one to look back in the dull days of winter.

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Thank you Catherine, and today feels like one of those 'dull days of winter' doesn't it. Getting quite chilly here as I am sure you are also in BC. Soon we will only have photos to help us dream.

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/12/2015

    Always something new to see in your gorgeous garden, Linda. Wow. Love the color of the Japanese maple in photo one and the white begonia (boliviensis?) dangling from the container in photo 5 (the pedestal, urn and little verdigris bird make a stunning support). Today I am riveted to the enormous ferns in the background of photo 1 and toward the back in photo 3. They look virtually tropical to me. What are they?

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Goodmorning Tim ~ The orangish colored tree in the first photo is a Stewartia which does turn a wonderful color, the gold Maple behind it is a Coral Bark Maple, when the very cold weather sets in the bark turns red. The ferns below those two trees are from the Dryopteris family (one is 'Cristata the King') and a couple of other varieties and they all become quite large, and a Maidenhair in the front. In photo 3, the tallest one is Osmunda Regalis 'Royal Fern' which can easily become 5', it is deciduous and seems to be quite hardy. I mulch the crown every Fall and have never had a problem with it into 20 degrees. I know you get much colder but once established it could probably make it. Behind the Royal fern is Osmunda 'Cinnamomea', another 5 footer. The fern directly to the left of the small-leaved Rhody (with the Fall colored leaves) is Dryopteris affinis 'Stableri', about 4' and seemingly very hardy. In the back and behind the birdhouse, and next to the large-leaved Rhody to it's right is another 'Royal Fern'. In the front are several different Athyriums which have a tendency to take over but I do love them.
      Aren't you just so glad you pushed my 'fern' button!!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/12/2015

        I am so glad to have pushed the 'fern button'! I'm copying your response and will be looking up those ferns. Love them! Thanks for the ID on the Stewartia: I thought it could be something else. I have a three-year old Stewartia koreana, and unfortunately I seem to be killing it....It is keeps dying back next year I will have to try something else, but will be very very very disappointed! Do you know which Stewartia you have?

        1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

          All I know is that it it a Japanese Stewartia, it is at least 6 years old so not growing very fast but it did have a FEW flowers on it this past year for the first time, so there is hope. Not real good with tree names and unfortunately don't remember the name of the begonia.

  12. wGardens 11/12/2015

    Fabulous! So much to see and appreciate. Love all the variety of plants and use of hardscaping and pots! Great use of all which lends to an extended season of loveliness!

    1. Meelianthus 11/12/2015

      Thank you Margaret - anything to extend the season, right.

  13. Cenepk10 11/13/2015

    Wow !!!!! Lots of happy plants !!! So pretty. I'm going into fall & winter kicking & screaming.... Where has the year gone ??????

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