Behold the Beautiful Autumn Tapestry: A Kaleidoscopic Carpet at Our Feet…
Now that I have accepted the skeletal lines and architectural drama of the November forest, it’s hard not to fall in love with late autumn’s incredible beauty. One morning it’s foggy, moody mountaintops and the next it’s the surprise of sparkling hoar frost at sunrise. The last weeks of autumn can be a truly magical time in the garden. Walking along the paths, digging holes here and there for spring bulbs, my eyes are drawn to the kaleidoscopic color surrounding my feet. Bronze, vermillion, gold and violet; the ground looks as if it’s covered in a collection of precious, spilled jewels. Some of these late-autumn beauties always provide rich garden color -often in the form of variegation or lacy leaves. But many garden ground-covers, including Bergenia ‘Bressingham Ruby’,Â Geranium ‘Brookside’ (Cranesbill) and Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’, wait until late in the season to put on their most vibrant show.
When designing a garden, I always give careful consideration to the flooring. In much the same way an interior designer thoughtfully selects wood or marble or carpeting for a space, I purposefully choose my ground-covering options in outdoor rooms. Of course, knowing a bit about how the tapestry of foliage will change throughout the seasons is invaluable. Will the green leaves of a particular plant become gold or orange in October, playing off violet-hued shrubs? Will the rusty, late-season tones of a low-growing conifer help to bring out the blue-tint of a statuesque spruce towering above? As I made my rounds in the garden this morning, I snapped a few photos to give you a better idea of how ground-covering foliage can add to the late season garden. And much like the exquisite Oriental carpets and Persian rugs found in beautiful homes, low-growing plants can add amazing warmth and texture to garden rooms, not only in autumn and winter, but at any time of the year…
Along the Secret Garden path, green and white Lamium maculatum ‘Orchid Frost’ and Pulmonaria saccharata ‘Mrs. Moon’ combine nicely with the glossy and Â verdant leaves of Â Helleborus x hybridus ‘Royal Heritage Strain’ and the gorgeous late season yellow of Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’
Heuchera americana ‘Green Spice’ takes on lovely orange veining and shines beside the low, gold Euphorbia along the path
Calluna vulgaris ‘Multicolor’ glows in electric shades of orange —intensified here by the blue-green color of Juniperus horizontalis ‘Bar Harbor’— while the Spring Heath (Erica carnea) softens the impact with its medium green
Article and photographs â“’ 2010 Michaela at TGE
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