An overnight drop into the chilly forties (Fahrenheit) verifies autumn’s arrival as September nears its end. The turn of foliage to autumn colors is a few weeks off, but berries and buds that promise spring flowers are scattered through the garden.
The tall ‘Jindai’ aster (below) is nearing its peak autumn bloom with fat carpenter bees feasting on its nectar once the sun has climbed above the forest of tulip poplars and maples that borders the garden. The sun’s more southerly path in autumn brings more shade to this shaded garden before falling leaves bring sunlight again by late in the season.
Plans are made to soon add yellow berried hollies (Ilex verticillata ‘Berry Heavy Gold’) to join red berried cousins (Ilex verticillata’Red Sprite’, below) in the garden that borders the driveway. Here, yellow, pink, orange, and red flowers of tall deciduous azaleas in spring and early summer will be followed by red and yellow berries on the hollies’ bare stems by mid autumn.
In sun and shade, a variety of delightful beautyberries (Callicarpa, above and below) ornament the garden. Berries are a week later arriving, and slightly more sparse in shade, but purple berries are cherished in the greenery of the shade.
Flower buds of three overly vigorous paperbushes (Edgeworthia chrysantha, below) are much larger than usual, and larger than two others growing in too much shade. The three paperbushes are nearly twenty feet across, and all are likely to be pruned substantially after their late winter bloom.