Harbingers of Fall Finally Show up

Tiger eyes sumac takes center stage with its fiery orange display. Eventually, this little treasure will grow five to six feet high.

Tiger eyes sumac takes center stage with its fiery orange display. Eventually, this little treasure will grow five to six feet high.

Normally, fall lasts about two weeks in Colorado.  We go from the heat of summer in August to freezing temperatures in September and October.

This year, however, is different, and the foliage is taking its time to put on its annual autumn show.

I’m seeing hints of the beauty to come, though.

Autumn brilliance serviceberry is gradually turning red against the backdrop of my neighbor's yellow honeylocust.

Autumn brilliance serviceberry is gradually turning red against the backdrop of my neighbor’s yellow honeylocust.

My tiger eyes sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’), for example, has been gracing my front yard like a burst of fire  for the past two or three weeks.  This little gem is currently only 29 inches tall, but just imagine what it will look like when it grows up.

And my Autumn Brilliance serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’) is beginning to turn its trademark red-orange color.  Eventually, this tree will grow 15 to 25 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide.  It may take 15 years or so, however, because serviceberry is a slow grower.

Sweet potato vine does double duty--first as a backdrop for my flowering container annuals and then as a nest for an autumn pumpkin.

Sweet potato vine does double duty–first as a backdrop for my flowering container annuals and then as a nest for an autumn pumpkin.

My flowering container annuals have bitten the dust, so the sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) that normally serves as the backdrop for those blossoms now has been converted to a nest for a fall pumpkin.  The vine’s gorgeous lime-green leaves make this darling a versatile companion for all kinds of plants.

Before long, my Pawnee Buttes sandcherry (Prunus besseyi ‘Pawnee Buttes’) grouncover will turn bright red, and my Regent serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’) will transform itself with its rich golden hues.

Happy Autumn!

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Filed under Landscape Design, Plant Geekiness

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