Scenes of fall

Itea and liatris in the fall(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Itea and liatris in the fall

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica), the small shrub in the back, has beautiful fall color. This particular plant is a cultivar—either 'Henry's Garnet' or 'Little Henry.'

The tall brown spikes are liatris, gone to seed. We used to deadhead everything when we had an ornamental garden, and I think we missed a lot of beauty. Why are only flowers in bloom considered beautiful? And birds appreciate the extra source of seed.

Fall seeds ©Janet AllenFall seeds

When we took the time to observe, we discovered all sorts of fascinating and beautiful seed pods. This one happens to be the seeds of native hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos), but there are many other intriguing seed pods once you start looking.

Fall flowers(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Fall flowers providing nectar for insects

Fall nectar is especially important for monarchs, who need to tank up for the long journey to Mexico.

This grouping includes obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), some species of goldenrod (Solidago) (I have several different ones), and New England asters (Aster novae-angliae).

Fall leaves(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Mostly sugar maple leaves, covering our small lawn.

Except for the lawn, we leave leaves where they fall. We rake up the leaves that are on the lawn, though, since they would smother the grass otherwise—another of the many disadvantages of lawns!

We put the leaves we rake as well as leaves we collect from the curb into a bin and just wait as they transform into wonderful leaf humus.

The stream area in fall(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
The stream area in fall

Each season has its own type of beauty. The stream looks very different in each season.

Hardy geranium Hardy geranium leaves ©Janet Allen

Fall is at least as colorful as the other seasons. For example, we enjoy hardy geranium flowers, but its leaves (Geranium maculatum) in fall are equally beautiful.

leaves with ice crystalsAnise hyssop (I think) ©Janet Allen

Even though it means winter is coming, it's hard not to see the beauty in these leaves covered in ice crystals.

Seedhead covered with iceAsters (I think) ©Janet Allen

This seed head is covered with ice crystals.

We missed so much when we used to deadhead everything!