Fall is creeping into the Pacific Northwest landscape. We are seeing color in the leaves and clouds in the sky. After a sunny, hot summer, the plants seem especially pleased with cooler temperatures and shorter days.
The garden we built in Salem is always beautiful at this time of year. This summer's record heat scalded a few leaves, but the fall show is taking center stage. This snapshot includes a few of our favorite performers for the season, if not every season.
The large, deeply cut leaves of Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' are gorgeous green throughout the summer and bring warm, deep color to the fall palette. This specimen is just getting started on a show of brilliant red and orange. The tree's open form and reasonable size nestles perfectly into many urban gardens.
Daphne x transatlantica 'Jim's Pride' has been full of tiny, white flowers since summer, and shows no sign of stopping now. We placed these medium sized shrubs near the meditation bench, where our clients can enjoy their fragrance. We shear the semi-evergreen shrub in spring, which seems to help it maintain a more compact form.
We can't go without our annual indulgence in Salvia 'Mystic Spires.' This sometimes-but-not-usually-hardy perennial blooms from May until the first hard frost. The deep purple spires are especially enticing to hummingbirds and other pollinators in the fall, after other blooms have faded.
Soon, the Hakonechloa and other ornamental grasses will start to color, and next thing you know, the silvery, evergreen leaves of Helleborus x 'Sternii' will be holding down the scene. If we've done our work well, this will be just one beautiful moment among many in a multi-season garden.
We hope you and your garden enjoy the transitional and transitory days of fall. Thanks for reading!