California’s Subtle Fall Show

The New England states are known for their color this time of year. Vibrant reds and golds brighten the skylines and bring tourists near and far. I love it there, and long to visit every year.

California on the other hand puts on a subtle show.

Here’s a peek from my backyard as the garden folds up shop for the approaching winter.

The Fringe Flower is covered in fuchsia blooms this time of year. They remind me of miniature pom-poms. I love their brilliant color.

Loropetalum chinense or Chinese Fringe Flower

Loropetalum chinense or Chinese Fringe Flower

Polka dot plants are commonly grown indoors. I bought a few for my fairy garden three summers ago, then transplanted them when they got too large for the area. Little did I know that they would come back year after year, bigger and better than the last. In mid-October they start producing these tiny purple flowers. They’re hard to photograph against the busy background, but they catch my eye in the morning, autumn sun.

Polka dot plants (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Polka dot plants (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

These brilliant white anemones produced a fraction of their usual blooms this year. They tolerate a lot of conditions, but they don’t like droughts. They generally bloom profusely in August, yet here they are blooming in mid-October doing their best to survive.

Anemone hupehensis

Anemone hupehensis sports a visitor

That’s an Orb Weaver spider, hanging out on the flower. He’s bathed in the traditional fall colors but that’s nothing new. He’s the same color year round, but seems to show up in our garden around this time. He’s not camouflaging at all, but I guess if you’re the biggest spider on the block, you can show off on the tip of a white bloom whenever you want to.

Orb Weaver Spider

Orb Weaver Spider

Our Japanese Maple Acer produces rich red seed pods and variations of amber leaves. It’s one of two deciduous trees in our yard. I look forward to the color changes every year.

Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' or Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ or Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple Acer palmatum

Japanese Maple Acer palmatum

And finally, here are my raspberry vines, dying back for the winter. I missed those warm, fresh berries straight from the vine this year, along with fresh tomatoes, sunflowers and summer annuals.

Raspberry vines

Raspberry vines dying back

Some of you are heading into fall this month, and others are ushering in spring. What color heralds the arrival of your new season?

12 thoughts on “California’s Subtle Fall Show

  1. It’s mostly white now Alys – the big chestnuts in the park are covered in white blossom – the daffodils have finished and the little hillock and banks are covered with little white flowers which I don’t know the name of ……. but it’s very pretty. My front entrance way is full of pansies – tubs and tubs of them all blooming like crazy while the new plantings get their roots down and ready to grow. The back courtyard however is still in chaos !

    I love Japanese Maples – I grew some years ago and their beautiful autumn foliage made me happy! In spring they put on the most delicious shade of spring green which also made me very happy! I love how you are transitioning your garden but also letting what is there do or die by their own efforts – there will be more surprises i am sure, just like your miracle pumpkin!!


    • Ohhhh sounds delicious. I love the trees when they’re blanketed in white blossoms. I hope you’ll take a few photos.

      And pansies in tubs! My favorites. And now you can garden more freely without concern for pesticides and inappropriate neighbors. Perhaps you can make a prominent sign that says “organic garden in progress”, just to alert the future owner as to what’s afoot.

      I was stunned to read that Acers come in 100 different varieties. I think they’re beloved by all.

      Thanks for your kind words about my do or die garden. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Took me awhile to get here. I don’t know where I learn more: gardening, blogging or perhaps both.

      Thanks for cheering me on. We finally got our plans approved by the water district. I’ve met with the landscape installer. They will demo what’s left of the lawn, remove the sprinklers, install water-efficient drip and then plant 100% native, city approved plants. With luck they’ll go in the week of November 1st so they can get there feet established before the promised heavy rains of January and February. xox


  2. Those anemones look surprisingly good after such a dry year Alys. You must have green fingers. 😉 Everything is turning yellow here now, especially the beech trees and hazel.


  3. Autumn is my favorite time of year and I’ve never welcomed it so heartily. I see a lot of spiders like yours on the Arbor Vita trees. I keep my distance from them. We are more green than all summer here. Finally some rain has helped things but the oak and maples are changing colors and falling. What a lovely mess they are. You still have lovely color and our pansies are happy this time of year. I haven’t been out to look in days. Playing musical furniture again. Today is perfect. 60 degrees and some sun. Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds wonderful, Marlene! We’re starting the day at 55 and ending at 78 to 80. We had a lovely fog this morning, but it’s blue skies now.

      I love musical furniture. What’s been up, or is that a subject for another post?

      I’m so happy you’re getting rain and fall temps after your very long, hot summer.

      How is your vision?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so happy things are cooling down for you. My sister is moving…again and needed her bed. So we moved some of my sons things into the living areas to make room for a bed that fit him. 🙂 I seem to have furniture here from everyone including a tiny bit of my own that just keeps getting moved around to try to make things flow.. I guess this is going to be longer term than I thought.
        We still have bugs but not as many as before. Vision is still a problem. I think I have an inkling as to what’s going on and have made a Dr. appt. Must wait 3 weeks to get in. At least things are slowing down. I’m ready for slow. 🙂 Giant hugs.


  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Flowers in the Rain – Gardening Nirvana

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.