October 22, 2010

A First Dusting of Snow; Coloring Leaves

This morning I woke before full dawn, and as I passed the window looking out towards the vegetable garden, I saw it glowing, as if in moonlight, in the soft dim light. Of course, it was snow, which settled on the soil of the garden, a white rectangle in the center of the darker lawn. It seems fairly late for this tiny amount of snow, which fitfully fell in light flurries throughout the day. Last year we had a more substantial snowfall on October 13th, which I blogged about here.

The flurries were broken by bursts of sun, so I went out to take some pictures of the foliage of perennials still in the garden, waiting to be cut back. It's very hard for me to cut the plants while the leaves are still alive and full of color. The Siberian Irises above are flopping over in front of the shed, but are still a warm green, turning to yellow; I'll cut them back when they are closer to brown.

The peonies also have some beautiful color: dark reds shading to greens. They are beginning to look sad, though, and will soon be done for the season.

One of the prettiest foliage plants in the garden is Amsonia; it has tiny steely blue flowers in spring and beautiful leaves all season. The plant is now a cool bright yellow, standing out against the darker leaves behind it. Maybe there will be a nice mild day in a couple of weeks, when the leaves of the perennials will all be dead, and I'll feel ready to take my garden knife to the plants.

a hat tip to the blog Each Little World, with its Foliage Followup to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


  1. Thanks for that nod. Your amsonia is a gorgeous color. Tomorrow the forecast is for a high of 70! but by Thursday the high is predicted to be 45. You can tell a big change is in the offing. I've barely cut anything back. I hate to do it while I still can enjoy it, but soon we will be working outside in less than ideal conditions I'm afraid.

  2. hi Linda, we're getting the warm weather by tomorrow, with rain, but not as warm as in Madison. I started cutting some truly dead plants back on Saturday. When I peer around the computer and look at the back border, I still see some color, so the rest will be done later.