Peak color

Serviceberry 'Autumn Brilliance'

We’ve been doing fall cleanup today: mulching leaves, cleaning out the pond, pulling grass out of the mulch paths. Not only is the weather unseasonably mild, but I believe we’re at peak fall color. Certainly the serviceberry has gotten even brighter since my last photo.

Dutchman's Pipe

The Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) should be dropping its leaves in the next week or so.


The potted blueberry plant didn’t produce any fruit this year due to some boneheaded pruning I did last fall, but it’s still a nice ornamental.

Oakleaf hydrangea

The natives oakleaf hydrangea (above), mapleleaf viburnum (below), blackhaw viburnum (below that), and wild geranium (bottom) are contributing their color as well. The mapleleaf has certainly bounced back from its rabbit/squirrel pruning this past winter!

Mapleleaf viburnum

Blackhaw viburnum

Wild geranium


6 responses to this post.

  1. Hi, it sure is windy and cold today. If it keeps up all those pretty leaves will be gone. We don’t have a serviceberry but the young hawthorn turned a nice golden yellow. It is completely bare now…but several shrubs are holding on. The garden is getting a sparse look.


  2. Posted by lakechicagoshores on November 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    My garden has lost a lot of leaves as well – the serviceberry has dropped pretty much all of them. The strange thing is that the Bloodgood Japanese maple hasn’t really changed colors yet! The varigated dogwood right next to it has lost most of its leaves, so it’s not just that it’s in a very warm microclimate.


  3. The fall color on the serviceberries was gorgeous this year! Ours is mostly bare now. Our cornelian cherry dogwoods are still green, and the red twig dogwood near them is almost bare. Our blackhaw viburnum hedge is still mostly green, and hasn’t lost any foliage yet. The tops are starting to turn, but the sides of them show no sign of turning. It’s interesting how different fall can be from year to year, and even within the same region, with so many variables in temps, rainfall, and microclimate.


  4. Posted by lakechicagoshores on November 12, 2008 at 9:04 am

    That’s amazing – my blackhaw was one of the first shrubs to start turning and losing leaves this year! I envy you having a hedge that is still green.

    There are no more leaves on the serviceberry or the varigated dogwood, but the ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple is just starting to turn colors. I’ll still have snapdragons for Saturday’s Bloom Day so long as we don’t have snow before then.


  5. Hi there! I love these Fall colors. I take pics like this too to remember which of my plants have the best fall color (right now it’s the oakleaf hyd. and the new pagoda dogwood).

    but I was wondering how you like the mapleleaf viburnum? I wanted to get some for next yr and our native plants sale usually has a lot of viburnums?


  6. Posted by lakechicagoshores on November 26, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I like the mapleleaf, and it recovered really nicely from the extreme rabbit/squirrel haircut inflicted on it this past weekend. It’s definitely an understory plant very happy in the shade, and the foliage is really nice.

    Mapleleafs are pretty hard to find, though – I ended up ordering mine from Mail Order Natives in Florida. If you find a local source, I’d love to hear about it!


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