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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Birdwatching: Goldfinches at the Feeder

Lately the birds have been returning to the feeders. These goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) all dressed in their winter coats after molting are partaking of a feast of niger seed, which is excellent for attracting finches.  Like all birds they seem to prefer the seed d'jour. Afterall who doesn't like the fresh stuff?  Thistle, coreopsis, sunflower, service berry, birch, and alder are all good choices among many possible food sources to attract goldfinches.  They mate in monogamous pairs and live in a flock of about 8 at least in our backyard.  According to Cornell the females will sometimes leave their mate to find another and start a new brood leaving the father to take care of the offspring.  Way to go goldfinch dad!  Does taking responsibilty for the flock make him a Stay at Home Dad too?

Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana)

Meet Prunus caroliniana, better known as a cherry laurel. This evergreen tree makes an excellent privacy screen and is great for attracting birds. It's a native to the eastern United States from Florida on up to North Carolina. It very low maintanence as my parents can attest. Just plant it and water it then let it grow. They planted cherry laurels at at least two of their homes to use as privacy screens.

The dark green foliage is very attractive. Cherry laurels can be treated as shrubs and pruned accordingly or could be trained as a tree by cutting away the lower branches and removing suckers as they appear. They can grow between 20-40 feet tall. According to Floridata (a great place for information on individual plants) these trees are very easy to propagate either through seed or through cuttings. Can you guess what I'll be doing soon?

On Friday I went to rake leaves at my parent's house and took a few samples of the berries. I'll place them in a planting bed and let them stratify naturally over the winter. Hopefully in the spring I'll have some seedlings to pot up and eventually put into our landscape. It will definitely be nice to have more winter interest in our yard. Here is a single cherry ready for picking!

There were many more where that came from! In the spring time white flowers cover these trees. Often the foliage hides the flowers from view but a quick inspection will find them easily. They like full sun but are tolerant of shady places. I haven't seen any pests or diseases on these cherry laurels which leads me to believe that they are relatively safe from either ailment.

What's good about Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana)?
  • Evergeen color
  • Spring Flowers
  • Fall Berries
  • Propagates easily!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Red Twig Dogwoods (Cornus stolonifera) and Why I Like Them

Why do I like Red Twig Dogwoods (Cornus sericea or Cornus stolonifera)? If you look in the picture below the reason should become red-ily apparent. The multibranched shrubs stand out with a bright red coloring that looks fantastic in the wintertime. When the trees are bereft of leaves and the stems are left, the red twigs won't disappoint for winter color.

These particular plants are in a nursery and unfortunately not in my garden but one day our little red twig dogwoods will grow into fine landscape specimens!  Red twig dogwoods flower in the spring, exhibit a lush canopy of green in the summer, display berries in the summer and fall, change colors with other deciduous trees and shrubs, and show their characteristic bright red stem display in the winter.  It's truly a plant with four season interest but most people, including myself, love it for the red stems.  The stems will eventually fade from being the bright red and will change into a brown color. An occasional pruning of the older stems will force new stems to grow which will turn red for the fall.  These shrubs sucker readily and grow fairly fast which makes them fun for propagating!  They like moist locations but do well in a range of soils in zones 3-8. 

So Why Do I Like Them?

Related Posts:
10 Easy Plants to Propagate for Your Home Garden
Red Twig Dogwood Propagation
A Plant for Winter Interest

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'd like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! And please, for the sake of this fellow and his friends here, take it easy on the turkey!

I usually fill up on the sides anyway!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Was Leaving Today

I couldn't stand it anymore. I've been thinking about this for a while now and I just couldn't take it anymore. It was just too much. The pressure of leaving has been building since the Garden Blogger Fall Color Project and each day it built a little more, another layer added to the top. I took all I could before I gave in and did something.

While the girls were napping I began the process of leaving. I gathered what I needed and went out through the garage. Wouldn't you know it, I had a flat. I examined the tire and determined it had enough air in it to go, at least for today. I really need to get that wheelbarrow fixed but a flat wheelbarrow wasn't going to stop my leaf gathering!

I brought it to the backyard and armed with my rake and my gloves I proceeded to rake the leaves into piles then I gathered them into the wheelbarrow. Now what to do with them? I could have put them in the compost bin, in fact I did put one pile there but I had other plans for the rest of the leaves. What could be better than free mulch? Leaves make the perfect mulch. They're free and they break down over time improving the soil as they decompose. I put the leaves around the hemlock privacy screen and along the eastern property line. One day that side of the house will be a shaded corridor but for now its just another work in progress!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Herbs for Turkeys!

While I claim no great skill or knowledge about cooking that big ole Thanksgiving turkey I can tell you about a couple herbs that may help you have a successful culinary experience!; I have the good fortune to have a mom who is an extremely good chef and I'll share the recipe (or at least where to find it) that she'll be using for Thanksgiving later in this post. For now let's talk about herbs!

Herbs are great in the garden for two reasons: they taste good and they look good. What more do you need in a plant? They can be used to season all kinds of foods whether it is an olive oil based dip for bread to meats. Here's a quick look at what herbs we grew in our garden this year and how we used them.

Basil was probably the most used herb. We used it for making spaghetti/marinara sauce but also included it in our olive oil dipping sauce, various marinades for chicken, and of course pesto! Pesto is such a simple thing to make and it tastes great. Next year I'll plant a whole lot more basil so that we can save some pesto for winter.

Lemon balm was our least used herb. It looks good and smells great but we just failed to utilize it properly. It's a perennial that should come back next year and would work great in teas and with poultry. I haven't tried it with fish but something tells me that the lemony scents would blend very well with a good salmon!

We used our oregano like the basil. It's a great companion to basil in almost everything. Oregano is especially good when sprinkled on top of pizza.

Rosemary is another herb that we use constantly. I've scattered it about our garden areas as an evergreen ornamental planting, which I'll talk about later in the week. Rosemary has a fantastic scent when you brush up against it in the yard and is easy to propagate. We've used it in many foods but mostly in chicken. Can you tell we eat a lot of chicken? Lately I've started to propagate Rosemary with an extremely simple method. The technical term is called "Sticking it in the ground." Very technical. I just take a rosemary branch that is ripe (hardwood at the base) to semi ripe and strip off the lower leaves. Then I stick the ends in the ground to a depth of about 4 inches. After about two weeks all cuttings are still green but I won't check for roots unless I decide to move them. Simple and easy plant propagation can't be beat!

Thyme is an herb that I just started in the garden this fall. I grew it from seed then added it to the Japanese maple garden as a low growing herb toward the front of the bed near the patio. You can never have enough thyme, right? It's good with poultry and fish as well.

So what herbs will mom use for the turkey? Rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and sage! Marjoram and common sage (Salvia officinalis) aren't present in our garden yet although we have many other salvias.

Mom will be fixing a Citrus-Scented Brined Turkey along with many other delicious dishes. How will you fix your turkey this Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Three Gardening Books I'd Like for Christmas

Before every Christmas season begins I am asked by various family members "What do you you want for Christmas?" Of course sometimes it's phrased more like "Get me your Christmas list by X Date!" Does this happen to you too?  As an avid gardener and blogger I thought it might be fun to think of the books I would like to receive as presents. Please feel free to offer suggestions of books that you find invaluable for your gardening library. Let's take a look at a few books for this gardener!

Each year my fascination with Viburnums grows. I like them for the abundant flowers in the spring, the berries in the fall, and of course for the fall foliage. They are great for birds who love the berries and make excellent landscape shrubs.  There are many varieties of viburnums from American natives to Asian favorites that I'd like to learn more about.

Native plants are a very important of the garden ecosystem. Experts are always saying that gardeners should plant more natives and less exotics but I think many people don't know what the options are. This is one book that I hope will broaden my knowledge about natives and help me to identify any hidden treasures that are growing nearby that I could incorporate into the garden.

I've looked around in our local bookstores for Nancy Ondra's latest book and haven't been able to find it. After seeing her garden and perspective through her blog Hayefield I wanted to learn more about her concepts concerning foliage. Her gardens are full of ideas and interesting plants that are more than just flowers.  Since flowers last only for a limited amount of time, foliage should be an important aspect to any gardener's garden!

There are many more books that I could add to this list but these three are at the top. A gardener is always learning and books are always a great gift for any gardener. The tricky thing is getting them something they don't already have!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Don't Commit Crape Murder

It's a horticultural crime.  A serious crime.  One with lasting repercussions on the garden and your landscape. What is crape murder? It is the unnatural and unsightly mass pruning of wonderful crape myrtle trees.  These garden trees are hacked down in the prime of life destroying what could potentially be an amazing tree. 

Why do people desecrate such a noble tree?  I hope it is only ignorance.  People for years have trimmed them in this fashion and turned them into lollipops of color.  If you drive through commercial developments you will find many magnificent myrtles murdered in what can only be an ill conceived notion that it looks nice.  OK maybe that's just my opinion but if you ask me crape myrtles should be allowed to freely express their "inner treeness".  They should be allowed to stretch into the sky in the fashion that mother nature intended and not pruned into a stubby little shrub.

Go natural!  Keep the suckers away and allow the tree to grow into a 3-5 trunk landscape focal point.  Crape myrtles flower on new wood which is why they are frequently pruned so dramatically but you completely lose the winter bark interest that develops over time. As the trunk gets thicker smooth multicolored peeling bark forms.  Topping the crape myrtle will create thick lower trunks and spindly upper trunks which in the winter look very unnatural without the bark interest.

The Clemson University Extension has a couple of great pictures on their site that illustrate crape myrtle pruning.  The first picture on their page shows one trimmed properly into a natural looking form while the second one shows the results of tree topping.  I know which method I prefer, how about you?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Red Clover Cover Crop and Green Manure

After the summer garden is gone there is still work to be done. My daughters and I went out last week to take care of some last minute raised bed winterizing. We are doing one important step now: adding organic matter. Why?  Because organic matter matters! By improving the soil you enrich it with the nutrients the plants need to be happy.  We are using a readily available supply of newspapers like we did to add material to the compost bin. We shredded them down and mixed them into the beds. They will break down over time and will help the beds maintain their moisture.

After we added the shredded newspaper we leveled the soil and sprinkled red clover seed (Trifolium pratense) over the garden. Clover is an excellent cover crop for the garden since its roots have a nitrogen fixing property that will help to add nitrogen back into the soil.  When the clover flowers we'll turn it back into the soil to use as an organic green manure then cover the beds with plastic to let them cook for the last couple of weeks before spring planting.  By covering the raised beds with plastic we should be able to kill off all the clover plants and prevent the clover from becoming a weed in the raised bed garden.  We should be able to replenish any used nitrogen in the garden and enhance our garden for next year without artificial fertilizers.  Feed the soil and you feed the plants! (More importantly:  feed the soil-feed the plants-feed the gardener!)

One thing to note: legumes may not be advisable to plant after a clover cover crop as clover is a legume and is susceptible to the same diseases. Clovers and vetches (legumes) as well as wheat, rye, and oats (grasses) are some good suggestions for winter cover crops in Tennessee. (And probably many other areas too!)

To see what others are doing in their vegetable gardens go visit Tina at In the Garden for her November Veggie Garden Update!

Autumn Seeds: The Bridge To Spring

One of the most interesting things about the fall season is the ability to observe the transformation from lush flowers and foliage to seed heads and dried leaves that flutter on the wind. It's the beginning and the end of two gardening seasons for many plants. The seeds are the bridge that will reach across the gap and bring us a fresh new spring.

The autumn seeds of an aptly named 'Autumn Joy' Sedum have transformed into chocolate brown seeds. It was well pollinated by the bumble bees and will come back larger each year with a greater display.

This Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' or Zebra grass is back lit by the afternoon sun. The seed plumes of ornamental grasses are one its most valuable features. It pains me to see ornamental grasses pruned short in the fall (as is commonly done in commercial landscapes) when their winter interest is so great. If you want winter interest ornamental grasses are a very good way to go.

The birds are just as likely to enjoy the seed heads of the rudbeckia as we are. The seeds will self sow each year bringing more plants and consequently more flowers. This particular plant thrived in our rain garden which helps to absorb the excess water from our driveway. I planted a few plants into it but mostly allowed zinnias and rudbeckias to take over by sprinkling seed in the spring. I have plans to improve it for next year but I'll save that for another time!

Here's an interesting specimen. I was pulling out the dead basil and dropped it temporarily into a large pot that was nearby. Rather than move it to the compost bin I thought I would leave it for a while to add some contrast to our winter landscape. Even though it's brown and dead it gives the eye something to gaze upon when everything is bare.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When the Color in the Trees leaves...

...One looks to the sky.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hangin' On

Like the neighbor's cat holding onto our railing, many of the maples have decided to hold onto their leaves, at least for a while longer. Not all of them of course, the reds lost their leaves several days ago. The sycamore trees still have some dead leaves hanging onto their branches. Their leaves will remain there for an indefinite period of time. Who knows when? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind. Many of the oaks will remain filled with brown foliage until spring when they drop the old and bring out the new.

It's interesting to see what foliage falls off first and what begins to turn when.  The sugar and silver maples have managed to hang on to their leaves the longest just behind the Bradford pears which have just begun to turn.   The dogwoods began turning early and lasted for several weeks before finally succumbing to the blowing breezes of the fall monsoon last week.  The sassafras trees also turned early but didn't last nearly as long as the dogwoods. By far the shortest tenure for turning leaves was the ginkgo tree in my parent's yard. The golden colors lasted for only a couple days then tumbled to the earth in a mass of fan shaped leaves.

What foliage is hanging on in your area?  What fall color lasted the longest?

One Cold Morning...

Pictures Taken: November 10, 2008.

Red Maple 'October Glory' (Acer rubrum)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Garden Blogger Fall Color Project: From East to West

First let me apologize for not getting these posts up sooner.  This weekend has been a fun filled hectic one with carpet cleaning and a surprise leak that required a new kitchen faucet replacement.  The two events were not related unless you count the fact that they took time away from the computer!

Skeeter is at it again at In the Garden!  This time she brought has the fall colors of her state of Georgia on her mind!  Skeeter highlights the fall colors from the Savanah River to her home garden and includes really nice shot of her leaf collection.   The trees with Spanish Moss are a special treat that we don't see this far north except in pictures.  The bridges and waterfalls are breathtaking when mixed with the fall foliage! 

Another East Coast blogger is showing off some fall color!  Heirloom gardener in New Jersey has several posts with some very nice color displays.  The golden autumn leaves of the hickory trees, the Japanese katsura tree and the fall blooms and colors of an autumn cherry are all there to delight all fellow leaf peepers!  Go visit the Heirloom gardener and her fall colors!

Now let's head west to California where gold can be found among the poplars along with many other garden treasures!  There are seed heads, cornflowers, fushia, gooseberries and redwoods to see.  Stop over and see what fall displays are Out of Doors

Friday, November 14, 2008

Garden Blogger Fall Color Project: Campus Colors

One of the greatest places to find fall color is on the campuses of our country's learning institutions. Each of these beacons of knowledge are aesthetically landscaped to entice new students to come and to give the students and faculty that attend a sense of nature to enhance their education. This idea is alive at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. At the Scott Arboretum blog Becky shows us the reds and oranges of maples, golden amsonias, and pathways of fall color beneath tall tulip poplar trees. The outdoor amphitheater would be a wonderful place to have a class, although I might pay more attention to the trees and the bounty of fall color than to the professor!

The Coyote, An Unwelcome Neighbor

We were sitting at the breakfast table on Sunday morning when an unusual sight appeared from the wooded area in the back of our yard. We watched as this dog-like apparition glided from the woods and crept across the grass. It was a coyote and it wasn't a welcome sight to my eyes. As a father of two small children I could only think of the dangers it presented to our family. I snatched my camera to take these two shots which are zoomed in and are very poor quality since I didn't have time to change to the telephoto lens. After taking the shots I wasted no time and chased it off. I wanted the coyote to know that he wasn't welcome here.

Coyotes don't present much of a danger to people but they have been known to attack small children. Generally they subsist on small rodents and berries found in the woods but have no aversion to snatching small, sick, young or old farm animals.

This particular coyote has a mottled coat and could be a mix of a domesticated dog and a coyote, the truth is I don't know enough to know for sure. It walked with its tail between its legs, which is a sure sign of coyote blood. This furry pest was probably (and hopefully) just passing through. Coyotes have migrated over the years into the eastern states searching for food and may be hunted at any time of the year in Tennessee to help prevent their numbers from increasing. The main predators of coyotes are mountain lions, wolves, and man-kind. In the absence of the first two the last one has to step in and manage the population.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Garden Blogger Fall Color Project 2008

As autumn's colors have wrapped us in a cloth of color we have peeked into the foliage around the gardening blogosphere. Participants from Canada to Florida and Illinois to England have offered up wonderful illustrations of fall's foremost feature. It's time to take a look back and see where all that fall color came from and where it went! I've moved the summaries I wrote about each Fall Color post into this one giant post. Now you can travel easily around North America and Europe to see all those colors. You had better bookmark this post for those cold and wet winter days when the sun isn't shining and you need a color fix to brighten your day!


For those of you who might like a little European feel for fall go visit Heiner's post in Otterstedt, Germany not far from Bremen. Heiner took some very nice pictures of Otterstedt's main street. I really wish my understanding of the German language was better (my last German class was nearly 16 years ago!). Even if you don't speak German the view of the fall colors will transcend any language barrier!


Do you want to dig a little deeper into the science behind the magical fall colors we see each fall? Or maybe you just want to take a peak at the fall show of a Continus coggygria (Smoke Tree). Either way stop over and visit Joco in the UK at Joco Serious. Joco posted a very detailed and thorough explanation of the process. I definitely agree that Nature Needs no Paintbrush!

Take another trip overseas to Veg Plotting in Chippenham, England where VP has taken some great shots of the fall colors and pieced them together in a collage for us to see. Colorful smoke trees and Japanese maples are certainly brightening up what could be a vintage year for autumn colors in England!
What a gift to be surrounded by all the wonderful scenery that Patientgardener is! Over in Malverns, England (in Worchestershire) the chestnut and beech trees are showing their autumnal changes. You even get a peak at some sweetgum trees which are another of my favorites for fall color. (I can forgive them for the seed balls in exchange for that fall color!) So stop on over and say hi to Patientgardener!


Take a road north to visit the wonderful fall colors in Nova Scotia with Nancy of Soliloquy. Canada is where the fall colors start their colorful journey to the south and we are lucky to have Nancy to show us her area's best fall foliage. She brings us through rivers and streams and shows us limestone cliffs and hardwood forests on a trip to her parent's house for Thanksgiving dinner. My personal favorite picture would be the one of the road underneath a canopy of color. The fall foliage is spectacular and the sunset at the end couldn't be more fitting!

Today's fall color update comes to us from Algonquin Park in Northern Ontario. Dan, who writes the blog Urban Veggie Garden Blog, returned from his trip with some amazing wildlife shots among the cool colors of a Canadian autumn. The heron in the picture to the right is the shot I find the most impressive. I'm never able to get them to stand still, or rather stand period! Dan takes us around the Ragged Falls, Muskoka Falls and Smoke Lake while showing us pictures of fascinating wildlife like moose, chipmunks, red-breatsed merganser ducks, and a wild turkey that has so far escaped the dinner table!


Our first entry into the Garden Blogger Fall Color Project comes to us from the great state of Maine. Dawn, who writes with Tina and Skeeter at In the Garden, is showing us some fantastic fall color scenes around her area. She takes us through pictures from the foothills near her home to Keoka Lake and Bear Mountain Pond. She even sneaks in some pictures of wild turkeys, they better find a good hiding spot before November! Of all the great pictures Dawn took my favorites are the one on the left here of the cresting water of the Crooked River and the mountain behind Moose Pond. There's just something about water, mountains, and fall colors that is hard to resist!

In Maine Sarah, a professional writer and blogger of Sarah Laurence Blog, takes us on a weekend hiking trip into the mountains of Maine. The photographs of fall colors in Maine are simply stunning. While the climb itself might take your breath away the views would do the same. The red and gold of the leaves stand out from the rocky mountainside that her family climbed proving that the journey to that vista was well worth the effort!

New York

If you've ever imagined driving or walking down a rustic lane with a canopy of colorful trees cascading overhead the visit Louise in New York at the Buddy Garden Blog. She has taken some fantastic pictures at the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York. Two of her images are particularly striking to me because of the creativity of the shots. While all the pictures are great the photo of the lone bare tree against the azure blue background of the autumn sky really stands out. The photo of the park bench surrounded by the fallen leaves littered on the ground also represents the fall season extremely well!

The next stop on the fall color tour takes us to Ithaca, New York and the blog Ellis Hollow written by Craig. Craig has offered up several posts that characterize fall so well. From the frost covered foliage to the flame colored ivy crawling and cascading on the buildings around Cornell University there is plenty to see. Back lit ornamental grasses, seed heads and frosted flowers will fill you with a wonderful vision of fall in all its many facets.

Elizabeth over at Gardenrant, a well known writer and garden blogger, has posted some picturesque fall photos for the Garden Blogger Fall Color Project. What could epitomize fall more than cobblestone buildings and walls mixed with glorious maples in the rustic farmlands of Route 104 in New York. Farming implements and woodpiles appear in peaceful fall scenes. Just what we like to see in the fall! Elizabeth risked life and limb to bring us these pictures, so go visit and see what New York color she's found!

If you travel to upstate New York to visit Kerri's Garden at Colors of the Garden (a very appropriate name, don't you think?) you will get a grand tour of the New York Countryside in October. Peak colors of red, orange, and gold bathe the farmsteads and rolling pastureland with the glory of fall. From the woods to the farms there are plenty of sights to see!


Don't forget to journey up to Kalamazoo, Michigan and the blog Through the Looking Glass where Jelly Fish Bay is traveling on a roadtrip in the search for fall colors. Playing hookey to search for fall colors is definitely worth it (says the former teacher)! You'll see the glowing sumacs and the vibrant colors of a northern fall. The last stop by the river brings to great day trip to a close!


George in Vermont (The Vermont Gardener and Vermont Gardens) has posted some wonderful colors of the Vermont wilderness. Filled with maples, the hills appear to be on fire with the autumn foliage turning. With photos of places like Marshfield Pond and Osmore Pond you start to think thoughts of camping and sitting by a fireside on a cool autumn day sipping hot chocolate or apple cider. Seeing the countryside of Vermont makes me wish I could take a fall road trip. For now the blogosphere will have to do!

New York isn't the only new place to visit, how about New England? JJ's recent vacation to New England couldn't have come at a a better time. The leaves were peaking through Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and of course New York! Picturesque river gorges and mountains of fall color await you at JJ's blog, We're Going to Need a Bigger Pot. As JJ asks "Got Autumn?"


Steve Silk and his new blog, Chatter Valley Gardens, are bringing us an array of fall treats. His photos of Japanese maples are nothing short of an elegant painting and his post on seed pods will definitely catch your eye!

New Jersey

Another East Coast blogger is showing off some fall color! Heirloom gardener in New Jersey has several posts with some very nice color displays. The golden autumn leaves of the hickory trees, the Japanese katsura tree and the fall blooms and colors of an autumn cherry are all there to delight all fellow leaf peepers! Go visit the Heirloom gardener and her fall colors!

Rhode Island

Over at Ledge and Gardens in Rhode Island Layanee has put together a post about my favorite trees, maples! Layanee's maples are mostly Japanese maples and their color is nothing short of awesome. From orange to red to gold-green these maples don't disappoint for fall color. Included in her post are the Acer palmatum varieties 'Omurayama' and 'Osakasuki', as well as Acer japonicum 'aconitifolium', Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum', and Acer griseum. It just goes to prove that no matter what variety it is, it's hard to beat a maple for fall color!


TC's (the Write Gardener) fall colors come from Western Pennsylvania,
one area of the country that I know has fantastic fall colors, afterall it is Steeler Country! His photos were taken within a mile of his home and are definitely worth a look. Scenery like that makes you want to stay outdoors all day!

Nancy Ondra from Pennsylvania, a gardening author and blogger at Hayefield and Gardening Gone Wild, is displaying the colors of a South Eastern Pennsylvania autumn. From the water shots by Lake Nockamixon to the land near her parent's farm you can enjoy the blazing colors of sugar maples, red maples, sassafras, and evergreen junipers. Nan's photos of fall show a wonderful autumn painting of Pennsylvania!

Take a Walk Down the Garden Path and visit some Pennsylvania fall color. Cindy's pictures are an excellent example of lighting and color blended to make perfect pictures. The maples are turning and shedding their leaves creating a carpet of color. Fantastic images of fall are all around Pennsylvania!

One of the greatest places to find fall color is on the campuses of our country's learning institutions. Each of these beacons of knowledge are aesthetically landscaped to entice new students to come and to give the students and faculty that attend a sense of nature to enhance their education. This idea is alive at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. At the Scott Arboretum blog Becky shows us the reds and oranges of maples, golden amsonias, and pathways of fall color beneath tall tulip poplar trees. The outdoor amphitheater would be a wonderful place to have a class, although I might pay more attention to the trees and the bounty of fall color than to the professor!

Who can compete with the flaming red color of the burning bush? It's most notable trait is peaking this time of the year over at Shady Gardener's Blog! The blazing burning bushes mixed with the golden yellow of a redbud filled with pods is a perfect picture for the fall season. Check in and see if you can identify the mystery plant with the purplish foliage!


Jump on over to Our Little Acre to see the fall colors! Not my acre, Kylee's! She has viburnums, a gingko, sumacs, and many other plants that are showing some great fall foliage. The bald cypress and the beautyberry are two that I will have to add to our garden!


How about a trip to Indiana to visit Carol's Fall colors (May Dream's Gardens)? The viburnums are glowing and the maples are blazing! You can also get a bit of the yellows in her Amsonia. Carol also brings the science behind the color change to mind for a post that is both fun to look at and great to learn from!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter in Chicago, Illinois is observing some really fantastic fall color. The red oaks are competing with the maples for an extraordinary autumn show. Usually the maples win hands down but as you can see in her photographs the oak is definitely holding its own. Then she brings us into the garden to show us the fall color on her dogwood, geraniums and several other plants. You definitely must visit her sweet home Chicago!

There are still fall colors beckoning gardeners in Illinois to pull out their cameras! Rose of the blog Prairie Rose found quite a few colorful trees in her neck of the woods. Crabapples bearing fruit, ashes, maples and a hackberry all join in the fall fray. One very interesting thing among the many photos to look at is the flowering crabapple actually flowering in October! Confused but colorful!

Illinois is having a fantastic array of autumn colors this year! I've highlighted several Illinois bloggers and the fall color near them and now we have another Illinois blogger to add to the Garden Blogger Fall Color Project! Beckie the blogger behind the computer screen of Dragon Fly Corner has put together a great selection of fall foliage. The golden maple in her yard joins the array with others of her area. Go see what fall color is in Dragon Fly Corner!

West Virginia

Kara in West Virginia, who blogs on the blog Garden Vines, posted a very nice shot of the West Virginia countryside in autumn. While we all know that fall colors can be hit or miss, Kara was able to capture a gorgeous view of the landscape despite the fall colors not being at their best. Often lack of rain and extra hot summers lead to a lackluster fall color performance but I think you'll find her landscape photo to be a very picturesque image of fall!

I have always loved maples. When I was a kid I'd climb the maples at my grandfather's house in Pennsylvania and watch them as they changed colors in the fall. The fall brilliance of a maple is something to be cherished and remembered. It is one of the greatest fall trees and Kim over in Maryland has two wonderful blazing red examples of fall in her yard. Who wouldn't want to look out their office window and see these wonderful trees? Go take a look at what Kim at An instrument of Grace gets to see everyday! Of course the fall color is for a limited time only...


Our second submission for the Garden Blogger Fall Color Project comes to us from Anna who put together a really neat slide show of her trip. Anna's trip to the Shanendoah Valley in Virgina is full of great Autumn photos from the old grist mill along Silver Lake to the mountains of Virginia. She also shows us a visit to a craft fair in Dayton and several beautiful shots of the waters around the lake. Definitely take a visit to Anna's Fall Color Post!

Breaking News: Fall Color has reached Virginia! Racquel the Perennial Garden Lover has sited some fall color in her neighborhood. Photos of a red oak and the borrowed view of her neighbors' trees herald the southward march of the fall colors. Go visit her photos and share the fall color experience in Virginia!

Although fall color hasn't quite reached Georgia, Skeeter just couldn't wait to find fall color! She traveled to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of the elusive fall foliage and found much more than just colorful trees. Among the reds and yellows of the deciduous trees and the evergreen foliage of the pines and cedars she found a hidden treasure. I won't spoil the surprise as Skeeter takes us In the Garden, in the Shenandoah National Forest!


A sea of color is what awaits you at Tina's blog (In the Garden). Tina is writing to us from the undersea world of foliage, with photographs of maples, redbuds, and sumac displaying their fall color. The pictures come to us from Maine, Indiana and Tina's garden so there are a variety of pictures to see! Or should I have said sea?

Peaceful and tranquil beauty grace the grounds of Gail's Garden, the blogger who gardens in Clay and Limestone. Golden yellows of the leaves join the grasses and seed heads of her fall garden in a showcase of fall. The yellows really come alive against the blue background of a rainless sky. Fall color has come to Nashville, TN!

Frosts, fothergillas, and fall foliage abound at Frances' Faire Garden. Coral bark maples, red maples, and Japanese maples (Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’) fill my fall color post maple quota (to me maples are a must!) The photograph of her disrobing dogwoods and slope garden makes one understand why her garden is a truly Faire Garden!

Fall is definitely at its peak here in Middle Tennessee! Rhonda at Adventures in My Garden has some great fall color in her own backyard. The view from her back porch is spectacular and would be envied by anyone who likes autumn leaves. Is there really anyone who doesn't? And the quote she picked out by George Eliot to start her post fits this project perfectly!

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

The colors that Mother Nature is showing us this fall are fantastic! And you know what, she blogs about it too! Mother Nature's fall color post is up and is a perfect painting of fall colors. The first picture is a very creative shot from her living room. The color changing leaves are framed in the large windows forming a wonderful image of fall. Go visit Tennessee's Western Highland Rim and see what Mother Nature has brought us!

Did you ever realize that you could go to Florida and see Tennessee fall colors? Well you can today, since Meems brought fall colors from Tennessee to her blog Hoe and Shovel! She recently came here to TN to visit her sister and went to visit the beautiful gardens of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. She put the pictures together in a slide show for us to see with Japanese maples, scenic country roads, the Natchez Trace Parkway, and all sorts of fall color. Go visit Florida and see what Tennessee has to offer!

Here are a few submissions of mine from my area: Fall Foliage as Nature Intended, A Golden Tree: The Tulip Poplar, and One Tennessee Country Road.


I have always believed that one of our country's greatest resources is our state and national parks. You can see why when you take a stroll down to Georgia and visit Dot's (Strolling Through Georgia) trip to the Amicalola Falls State Park. The colors there are in varying hues of gold, red and orange. There are scenic views and of course the waterfall itself that is framed so masterfully between the autumn colors. Dot's post is a refreshing fall tour through what must be one of Georgia's greatest treasures!

Skeeter is at it again at In the Garden! This time she brought has the fall colors of her state of Georgia on her mind! Skeeter highlights the fall colors from the Savanah River to her home garden and includes really nice shot of her leaf collection. The trees with Spanish Moss are a special treat that we don't see this far north except in pictures. The bridges and waterfalls are breathtaking when mixed with the fall foliage!


Now let's head west to California where gold can be found among the poplars along with many other garden treasures! There are seed heads, cornflowers, fuchsia, gooseberries and redwoods to see. Stop over and see what fall displays are Out of Doors!

I'd like to take a moment to say a special thank you for all the bloggers who participated in this fall color experience! I've really enjoyed being able to share all of 2008 fall colors with you and I hope to do the same next year. While I'm tentatively wrapping up the project I'll still add other posts who may have missed the project and have fall color to present. I'll be taking down the sidebar links but will leave a link to this post in the sidebar for everyone to look back and see what fall colors we had in 2008.