Peak fall color before the wash-out

A rainstorm overnight knocked a lot of the leaves down, so I’m especially glad I took these pictures yesterday afternoon. The ‘Wonderful’ pomegranate was glowing golden under gray skies, echoing the yellow stripes on the ‘Color Guard’ yuccas.

A golden puddle of leaves at its feet. The weeping redbud to the left of the Yucca rostrata had also gone yellow, although most of its leaves were already gone.

The sunny view from the deck

Out front, copper canyon daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) kept the sunshine going.

In the gutter lay the crimson leaves of the neighbors’ Bradford pear. Perhaps they’re washed away this morning from the overnight rainstorm.

October’s leaves were dancing around
Like angels dressed in robes of red and gold
But November’s come and gone now
And they’re lying in the gutter out along the road
They’re gonna make their way out
To the ditch or someday to the sea
They’ll get to where they’re going
Without the help of you or me
–Iris Dement

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

20 Responses

  1. Jane Strong says:

    Poem is perfect for this post. Gray skies somehow make the yellow seem brighter, don’t you think?

  2. Gretchen says:

    I love seeing your garden in all seasons. I visited during the garden tour and was pretty thrilled to see your wonderful place. I will have to seek out the Iris Dement song. Great post, as usual.

  3. Kris P says:

    I hope you’re not drowning out there! The news reports make it sound terrible.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Really? No, nothing remarkable is going on with the weather here in Austin (for a change). We got a nice rainstorm the other night, but I didn’t hear about any flooding. It was welcome rain for us gardeners. Isn’t it funny how news reports about weather across the country are often so exaggerated? —Pam

  4. Love that shot of yellow.

  5. gina Harlow says:

    Beautiful, Pam. You and I were on the same wave length (pics at P&P). Happy holidays to you.

  6. Carol says:

    Did you get any fruit from your pomegranate?

    • Pam/Digging says:

      More this year than ever, about 5 fruits. But some split early, and the squirrels or possums got the rest. That’s OK. I grow it for ornamental reasons. —Pam

  7. Doris Vasek says:

    The poem is just perfect! I hate hearing leaf blowers and then see the leaves being bagged up for their trip to the landfill. The folks raking and bagging don’t make me much happier. I always think it is such a waste. We should be letting Mother Nature take care of them.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I hear you on the noise and the idea of leaves going to the landfill, Doris. But, just to be devil’s advocate, here in Austin people bag them for the city composting service (I do), which turns them into Dillo Dirt. In cities, raking leaves out of the gutter actually keeps them from clogging up stormwater drains. And I do use a leaf blower myself, although in my defense it’s battery powered and therefore fairly quiet. I have so many agaves and yuccas, not to mention tiny, slippery live oaks leaves that fall into their spiny leaves and would rot them, that there’s no other way to deal with them. That said, I’m in hearty agreement with you that leaves are not trash to be dumped in the landfill. They’re nature’s fertilizer! —Pam

    • Paulo says:

      Where’s the like button? :)

      My next door neighbors are so-called “landscapers”, they use a commercial blower, edger, and lawn mower. Besides the obnoxious noise, I often have to rush to close the windows because of the dust storm and noxious 2-cycle gas fumes.

      On a happier note, I’m adding that poem to my list of rationalizations for neglecting yard work. Actually, I don’t really have much leaf litter, yet. After my large shade tree died, I went without any trees until the several I planted over the last two years. Once there’s a considerable amount of leaves I’ll just mulch mow them like I did as a kid, only then it was efficiency, not ecological awareness.

      • Pam/Digging says:

        I love mulching mowers. It’s such a tidy, environmentally friendly way of dealing with most leaves. I just wish it worked on slippery little live oak leaves, which is mostly what I have. —Pam

  8. TexasDeb says:

    Our crepe myrtles were especially golden this year but that same rain/gustiness you mentioned took them down to just a few persistent leaves. Still gorgeous, down to the last bright one.

    That is the only seasonal advantage to a lawn that I’m aware of – the leaves all blow right across and don’t stop until they reach planted beds like yours and mine. That’s OK – I consider the leaves a gift of soil-to-be and manage to be grateful (at least once I’ve corralled and crushed them into a composting situation.).

    Wishing you brisk pre-sales of the new book and happy holidays in every way for you and all your family!

  9. Paulo says:

    That top photo looks so tranquil. Am I the only who thinks brick paths look nicer when strewn with fallen leaves? It reads as restful to me.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Just wait until my mid-March through early April pictures, Paulo. The live oak leaf drop happens then, and it’s a monster leaf fall. Nothing restful about it at that time of year, but this amount is nice. :) —Pam