October garden


October mornings often dawn with the double bands of mist above the river that I find so beautiful. The bed I call the Oudolf is festooned with white plumes of Calamagrostis brachytricha, Korean feather reed grass.



At the back of the house, the herb bed is quietly dying back and setting seed, while the pots on the gravel “patio” are still bursting with colour.



The woodland garden is mostly planted in hostas, which have already collapsed for the season, and the white lacecap hydrangea is about to follow suit.



As the front bed becomes more muted every day, the Douglas maple tree on the east side of the house is preparing to steal the show.



Sedum “Autumn Joy” and feather reed grass add some pinks to the autumn yellows and reds.



 Red osier dogwoods (Cornus stolonifera) frame the little cabin.



Grasses and Matronas dominate the Oudolf at this time of year.



In the Oudolf’s west end, another Douglas maple makes a bright backdrop for Joe Pye Weed, native asters, and sneeze holly.



A closer look.



Looking through a screen of birches, black-eyed Susans, Sedum “Matrona,” feather reed grass, and blue spheres of Echinops ritro toward the Seven Sisters.



Dark seedheads of Verbascum nigrum, bronze plumes of Filipendula rubra (Queen of the Prairie), Monarda didyma “Raspberry Wine” with only a few petals left on each head, and blond Karl Foerster grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora). I wasn’t sold on Queen of the Prairie when she bloomed cotton-candy pink in the summer, but I love her fall colour, so she gets to stay.



 A living Amish quilt: Sunshine and Shadow.



 Echinacea purpurea (coneflower) and Echinops ritro (globe thistle).



Looking at the Oudolf through spires of Agastache “Blue Fortune” (hyssop).



Ever since April was a kitten, when she spots me photographing the garden, she follows me around and tries to get into the shot. Here she is trying to look nonchalant against a backdrop of dwarf Munstead lavender and coreopsis.



Late afternoon sun lighting up feather reed grass in the A bed.



Autumn crocuses.



Rudbeckia fulgida “Goldsturm” (black-eyed Susans)



It’s the first year this arrowleaf viburnum has produced berries. Its fall colour is excellent this year, too. I credit the drought.



Three beds at the top of the driveway: the garden shed bed, the A bed behind it, and the Oudolf at the back.



A private spot for spinning dreams of next year’s garden.

8 Responses to “October garden”

  1. carin

    Just breathtaking. You live in heaven or something. And April the Cat… what a doll. I love her nonchalance (as long as you get her good side, right?)… (:

    • commatologist commatologist

      I definitely live in heaven, Carin. And according to April, she has only good sides.

  2. Margaret

    Boy am I late with this– your gardens are beautiful! I have been resisting designing and planting new beds for a few years now. I don’t want to create something that will tie me to this place– it’s not that I’m unhappy here, more that I’m not wanting to be settled just yet. A garden grounds you in the best possible way but I’ve only just started flying! The time to put down roots hasn’t come yet. Seeing what you’ve done makes me wish I was ready but I know I’m not– so I’ll just admire yours from afar. They are gorgeous!

    • commatologist commatologist

      Thanks, Margaret! I remember being in a similar place of wanting to create a garden but not being ready to settle in one place. I did what you’ve done and made a garden with containers around my door. I strongly support you in not putting down any roots yet! I love watching you fly and look forward to one day seeing where you choose to land. xo


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