Garden Photo of the Day

The last gasp of fall in May’s garden, Day 2 of 3

Large flocks of bushtits visit my feeder to get the shelled peanuts.

We're back with Day 2 in May's garden. She says, "One of the nicer things about this time of year, aside from the colours, is that you get a bit of a breather from the summer heat and rush.  You have some time to look around. You bring in the tender plants, think about your indoor garden. Maybe do some thinning and pruning outside, using the cut branches in vases or arrangements. Create a few winter containers.  Slow  down.  Relax." Gorgeousness. ***Back tomorrow with one more day!***

SEND ME PICS OF YOUR GARDEN, OR A GARDEN YOU'VE VISITED! Email me at [email protected]. Thanks! –Michelle

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This variegated euphorbia (I don't know its name) is still going strong, and a male skimmia is in the background.

Some euphorbias look ready to be trimmed back in the late fall, so I do. A peony shows colour before it, too, will be cut back.

A view of some of the last colour at the end of October. The chestnut tree is yellow, the reds are dogwood, burning bush, and Berberis 'Rose Glow'

This fall container is very temporary. The succulents are still in their 4" pots.  Everything is arranged on a bed of peat moss. There were more chestnuts, but some little creature is stealing them overnight!

November show of Berberis thunbergii 'Rose Glow' and cotoneaster berries.
Berberis thunbergii 'Rose Glow' leaves turn from purple to red and it is covered with bright red berries, a last show before winter.   
Hydrangea arborescens in front, dogwood tree on left, Cotinus in the right background

View Comments


  1. sheila_schultz 11/25/2014

    What a fun fall container, May. The contrast in color between the succulents and the gourds is very cool!

  2. Nurserynotnordstroms 11/25/2014

    Autum at its finest?

  3. greengenes 11/25/2014

    Ah....May, its so nice! Fall is such a beautiful season! I so enjoyed seeing the birds, too. They are a gorgeous bit of fluff! Thanks for showing us all these great shots! So looking forward to seeing tomarrows pictures! Enjoy the season!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/25/2014

    So beautiful, May. Love the birds. It took me a long time to appreciate the autumn garden. It always seemed so fleeting to me, but a couple of years of stunning fall colors in the neighborhood helped me to realize that spring is no less fleeting and I go crazy for spring color, so why not autumn! cheers!

  5. GrannyCC 11/25/2014

    Your photos make us realize that there is beauty out there at all times of years. The Bush Tits are darling and such fun to watch.

  6. perenniallycrazy 11/25/2014

    As delightful as yesterday's posts May. Thank you for showing off the hidden beauty that the fall garden truly is. Lovely fall container too - makes me wonder if you have other creatures feasting themselves on more than the chestnuts?

  7. GrannyMay 11/25/2014

    Thanks everyone! It is so nice to share with others who have the same passion. I have a busy day ahead, but will check back later to see if there are any questions. :)

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/25/2014

    Hi, May, I feel so late to the party...only showing up now in mid afternoon...that's rare for me. Ha, if were one of those totally adorable bushtits, I'd be staking out my perch position at sunrise! What an awesome picture that is of them...I love how they are using every available surface as a resting place. Your several photos of the 'Rose Glow' barberry were so stunning that they almost made me regretful that I dug out a threesome of them a few years ago. However, those darned barbs and where those particular bushes were located finally had me crying uncle. I do still have a lot of the 'Crimson Pygmy' variety and I try to remember to wear leather gloves when I work around them.
    Question...does cutting back your euphorbias in the fall affect the spring show of colorful brackets?

    1. GrannyMay 11/26/2014

      Hi Michaele, isn't it funny how many plants we have a love/hate relationship with. Luckily, I don't have to do much around the 'Rose Glow' barberry, so am not bothered by its thorns. I have another barberry that is definitely in the wrong place - i.e. I need to prune it to keep it within bounds and I am always working around it, with great care! One of these days it might wound me one time too many and it WILL be gone. But how do you dig up and dispose of such a lethal package of thorns?

      I'm not at all sure about when the correct time might be to cut back my euphorbias. When they look very "ratty" I cut them back. Those that look all right I leave alone. My memory is terrible, so I couldn't say whether fall pruning makes them better or worse the next year. I reply on old photos to tell me when they last bloomed but have never thought to compare the quantity/quality of bloom year to year.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 11/26/2014

        Love your gardening philosophy, May, about not being overly concerned with rules and doing things on a "must do" by a certain date. I understand how when one is the main worker bee, we do what we can when we can, right? And we enjoy things in the moment.

  9. foxglove12 11/25/2014

    So much color and love the bird photo!

  10. jeannetrimble 11/25/2014

    Beautiful fall colors! This will also be a winter wonderland with all the trees and shrubs that will give lots of winter interest with snow on them! Hope you post some of them also.

    1. GrannyMay 11/26/2014

      Snow! Yes, we do get snow here once in a while and normally it does not last long. One of the nice things about this part of the country is that we have a large variety of broad-leaf evergreens. They are are beautiful to look at though the winter months but catch the snow and are damaged far more easily than cedars and needle evergreens. So, when we do have snow, especially heavy, wet snow, I rush around taking pictures of the beauty and then quickly try to knock the snow off all the shrubs and trees that are in danger of losing branches or even falling over. It is nature's way of pruning, but it isn't always done the way we would prefer.

  11. Jay_Sifford 11/25/2014

    Beautiful photos, May. Your photos of 'Rose Glow' barberry remind me of the fact that I've been rediscovering some beautiful plants that I thought were too mundane and pedestrian to use in my designs... loropetalums, barberries, boxwood, etc. But, in the right compositions, they can be spectacular. Thanks for sharing your garden.

    1. GrannyMay 11/26/2014

      Thanks Jay. Your comment made me smile, reminding me just how far gardening has come in the last 30 years or so. We are now able to see and learn from gardens from all over the world without having to travel, and order practically all the same plants no matter where we live. That has created trends in gardening and made some plants almost universally fashionable and others not. We lust after plants that don't normally grow in our zone because they are "different", though they may not be valued at all in their native places. Plants we saw in our parents gardens hold no interest, unless there are new hybrids and cultivars. And yet, nostalgia can turn this trend around, as can common sense. Hopefully, soon.

      Oh, by the way, I'm still waiting for my common sense to manifest itself when I'm at a nursery. Surely I'm old enough to know that those tender succulents won't look very happy after a month inside with no light.

  12. schatzi 11/26/2014

    May, you are an artist. Your fall container composition is lovely. The bushtits photo is great, and the Stellar's jay the other day is a fantastic photo. Beautiful, beautiful. I'm a day late - have to go look at day 3 now.

  13. GrannyMay 12/11/2014

    Thanks for liking my yard and for identifying my Euphorbia, Joseph. I'll give it its rightful name in all my photos, before I forget.

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