05 January 2010

Fall Color For Gray Winter

It's the middle of winter, and there is not much to record in the way of gardening. In looking at some past photos that were not posted to the blog, a few noteworthy autumn items for the journal were found. First, there is the gooseneck loosestrife (lysimachia clethroides).

The leaves this year turned a vibrant golden yellow in the fall. The color stayed around for about two weeks before fading into brown. I believe the memory has been fading too, since I do not remember this color on the loosestrife in the past two years of growing it [22.6.2008]. I can think of three reasons:
  1. In previous years, the plants were rather sparse, so maybe the increased density this year created a more solid blob of color that simply got noticed.
  2. This fall had the right conditions to create the color, much like the conditions affect the leaf color in the trees from year to year.
  3. The plants were healthier during the year, since I was trying to get them to fill in and spread (which they did.)
The color was a welcome surprise.

There is a small oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) planted in the spring that did not grow much during the summer. The few leaves it had rivaled the maples in fall color. Since this was its first year in the garden, it is not known how prevalent this red color will be next autumn, but I am hopeful. Researching online indicates that the plant is known for its intense red fall colors.


Jim/ArtofGardening said...
Watch that loosestrife. In two years it'll take over the yard!