Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary

There’s still a lot to see in the garden at this time of year. Many of us are a little burned out with all the gardening we’ve been doing since spring and we just want to sit back and relax. Well designed gardens offer year-round interest, the beauty of which can be a distraction from our gray days (in fact the gray skies often enhance the brilliance of leaves and flowers…so gray days are blessings, right?!?). I’m amazed at how well hydrangeas performed this year and they offer quite a bit of color and garden interest. As of November 21, my fuchsias were still blooming (what a gift!). Some fiery-colored Japanese maples are tenaciously holding their leaves, as are the gum trees; this is true of my—what I believe to be—Acer palmatum ‘Seriya’. Pyracantha and cotoneasters also are offering colorful leaves and/or fruit. And don’t get me started on confiers! Blues of spruce and fir; deep greens of hinoki, firs and yews; and chartreuse of Cupressus wilma, a lemon-scented conifer add color and structure to the garden year round. There’s a surprisingly long list of plants that should be features in the garden at this time of year. And it’s a great time to visit garden centers and nurseries to select plants that are late fall and winter standouts. (All photos taken Nov. 21, 2010.)

Share with us the plants you find extraordinary at this time of year.