Garden Photo of the Day

Wonderful Fall Colors in the Mid-Atlantic

Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur'

Kevin Kelly shows how lovely the fall is in Harrisburg, PA this time of year!

"Fall is finally arriving in my zone 6b garden in Harrisburg, PA. It is so nice to see the beautiful colors of the maples, fothergilla, itea, oakleaf hydrangea and ornamental grasses show off as the temperatures cool. I have included a few pictures of the changing fall colors from around my garden. The property is in a suburban development and is just under a half acre."

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Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sike’s Dwarf’

Fothergilla x intermedia, Heuchera, Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’  (shrub rose backdrop)

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ (Little Bluestem)

Polygonatum variegatum, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’

View Comments


  1. user-1020932 10/26/2015

    I wish my Aconitifolium would color up like that! all great shots, I do love fall with the plants showing off after their long seasons work

    1. user-7007498 10/26/2015

      My tree is about 12 years old. The last 3 years, the color has been spectacular.

    2. Chris_N 10/26/2015

      Jeff - just wanted to say I enjoyed your photos from the other day.

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 10/26/2015

    Beautiful. Fall colors are such a treat. Very nice photos.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/26/2015

    Delightful pictures of delectable fall color, Kevin. Your grouping that includes the fothergilla is particularly pleasing because the red of the background rose bloom seems to compliment everything else so nicely. Do you find the sedum 'Autumn Fire' superior to 'Autumn Joy' in growth habit and retention of flower color? Based on your picture, it seems like it holds the orangey red tones longer into fall.

    1. user-7007498 10/26/2015

      Thanks. I have found 'Autumn Fir' much superior. I have both in my garden. 'Autumn Fire' holds the flowers longer (by weeks) than 'Autumn Joy'. I also find the stems sturdier and it holds up better in the winter.

  4. hostamom 10/26/2015

    Beautiful colors. I am in zone 7a and have had success with most plants I've tried in the past. For some reason, no luck with Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' - any suggestions?

    1. user-7007498 10/26/2015

      I have 3 different varieties of Hakonechloa. I have found 'All Gold' to be hardier and can tolerate drier areas in the garden. In Zone 7, I would try to locate it in the wetter areas of the garden, and only morning sun (in my opinion).

      1. hostamom 10/27/2015

        Thank you Kevin. I will definitely try 'Old Gold".

  5. User avater
    HelloFromMD 10/26/2015

    Wow, Sike's Dwarf has lovely fall color !I have recently added a number of the new dwarf shrubs and am hoping they will live up to their hype. I grow Sike's Drawf too, but in too much shade I'm afraid. It barely turns. I bought Ruby Slippers since it is noted for fantastic fall color. Too soon to tell on that one, it's just started to turn. BoBo (a paniculata not an oakleaf hydrangea) has turned yellow and its flowers did age to pink so it has proved to be a great performer. Also nice to see newest little bluestem. Our garden club has replaced the bluestem at one of our public gardens with Standing Ovation. So it's nice to see it standing tall.

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 10/26/2015

      I have a number of generic oak leaf hydrangeas and there is a lot of variety in their fall leaf color. However, just the other day, I succumbed to the temptation and bought 2 Ruby Slippers so, Nancy, I'm also excited to see how it performs in the years to come.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/27/2015

        Are your Ruby Slippers coloring up, yet?

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 10/27/2015

          No, they are mostly greenish like they were when I bought them last week from Lowe's. However, one of my reseeded generic ones is deep burgundy.

    2. user-7007498 10/27/2015

      I love oak leaf and panicle hydrangeas. The Oakleafs have such spectacular color, and awesome cinnamon colored bark. I have most of my Oakleafs in morning sun, or as understory shrubs to more mature trees. There is a gold cultivar called 'Little Honey' that is very hard to find, but is beautiful year round.

      Panicle hydrangeas are great because they bloom on new wood. Thus they bloom later, and are not affected by our cold winters.

      'Standing Ovation' has proved to be awesome. Beautiful bluish grass during the summer. Holds up well in severe storms and throughout the winter.

  6. Chris_N 10/26/2015

    I'm a sucker for fall garden photos especially when they look as great as these.

  7. greengenes 10/26/2015

    These are all beautiful, Kevin. Dosent it seem this year has been better than other past falls when it comes to color? The polygonatum sure is nice as they all turn the nice soft yellow! Thanks for sharing with us! Enjoy the seasons ahead!

    1. user-7007498 10/27/2015

      Thanks. I was worried about fall color, because we had little rain after July 20th (only about 2 inches since then). However, fall color has be awesome. My trees are just starting to turn now.

  8. Chris_N 10/26/2015

    We've seen Kevin's garden photos for both summer and winter. (Search Kevin Kelly in box at top of page.) Now we have fall. Spring photos next?

  9. GrannyCC 10/26/2015

    Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

  10. GrannyMay 10/26/2015

    Kevin your garden is full of terrific plants and the combinations work well in all the seasons that you have shown us so far. As Chris said - spring next?

  11. wGardens 10/26/2015

    Lovely photos. Your Aconitifolium is a beauty! I just planted 3 small Sike's Dwarf this year... hope they turn out as nice! Your "Winterthur" also looks great.

  12. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/26/2015

    Thanks, Kevin, your garden has some interesting specimens and such beautiful fall color. I especially like that variety of Schizachyrium. This site is so great for showing what we need to add to our garden next year:)

    1. user-7007498 10/27/2015

      Thanks. I love this site as well, since it is so great to see what other gardeners are doing.

  13. Meelianthus 10/26/2015

    Your Fall colors are wonderful Kevin. I especially like the contrast of the berries with leaves on the Viburnum. Soon so much will be bare so it is important to enjoy the beauty of Fall. Thank you

  14. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/27/2015

    Late to the party, Kevin. So great to see your garden in another season. Love the Viburnum and will be researching that one. Do you have your viburnum in full sun or do you think it can take some shade?
    I love the four season interest in Oakleaf Hydrangeas. There's been a lot of talk about them around blog-towns these days.
    LOVE your A. japonicum. I just commented to a friend today that it is a shame that A. japonicum seems to be so hard to come by, unlike all of the A. palmatum cultivars. Even A. shirasawanum seems easier to find. They are just great. I have a small one; cultivar is escaping me. I have Acer pseudosiebolianum takeshimense on my list; super hardy and hard to come by as well. Thanks and keep sending in photos.

    1. user-7007498 10/27/2015

      Thanks. I have 3 V. nudum's (2 are 'Winterthur' and 1 is 'Brandywine'). 1 of the 'Winterthur' is in full sun. The other one in the picture, get sun in the morning only, as it is shaded by a Zelkova tree. It is the oldest of the 3, and has grown to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. I have seen others flower well in part sun as well. 'Winterthur' blooms better than 'Brandywine', but having both cultivars increase the berries (but it is not essential)

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/27/2015

        8 feet tall! Yikes. Do you know if they respond well to pruning to keep their size down? I researched Brandywine, too, so nice to know you have both. I'm brainstorming how to fill a spot where I'm going to yank out an H. quercifolia that has been a dud since day one, many years ago, and 8 feet might eventually be too big...Maybe back to the drawing board for me! Thanks!

        1. user-7007498 10/28/2015

          It does respond to pruning, and I would bet it could be maintained in the 5-6 foot size, if you have space. I cannot say enough how beautiful this shrub is. The leaves are very glossy, and are a great backdrop for perennials. The one in part sun is definitely taller due to the decreased sunlight. This is also a plant native to the east coast.

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