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Garden Design

Late fall in New England

Maria von Brincken

Maria von Brincken

November 29, 2011

In New England we’ve been given a reprieve with the weather. We’ve had a number of 60 degree days (15 degrees C) at least by noontime, and that’s made time for me to get out, and cleaning up in my garden. I don’t often have that pleasure as a landscape designer, as I’m usually working so hard I don’t have that luxury of time in my own garden. But here it is, late November after Thanksgiving and we’re having these beautiful warm days.

Maria Blog1 fall foliage tapestry

Oakleaf hydrangea, Spirea, Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’

It’s really a bonus and, as work has slowed down as far as installation and design at this time of year over the Thanksgiving holidays, I’ve been blessed to be able to cut back, and work on pruning to shape the different trees in my garden, like a Japanese maple that was hurt in last year’s snow storms by cement snow. It was good to take some time to look at it, to see its bones, and prune to take some weight off as well as shape it, as I believe that trees, and especially specimen trees, should be sculptures of beauty in the winter months. I was able to do that with several plants, and also put in window boxes.

Late fall foliage

When I took these pictures in my late fall garden, most of it was a mess, but there was just this one corner that held a lot of interest because of the changing leaves that were still on these plants, like Magnolia virginiana, which is the taller Massachusetts native magnolia tree, or really a large shrub, and also the burgundy leaves of the oakleaf hydrangea. The lacy-looking foliage is the Spiraea and there’s a twiggy Viburnum mariesii on the right side (and, of course, the benefit of my neighbour’s fence). If you’re designing a garden for all seasons, it’s nice to have these areas that still look good in this late fall period, even when the perennial garden around them has turned to mush.

Fall foliage tapestry with Viburnum

Hoping you’re enjoying either the beauty of the fall or, ‘Downunder’, the beauty of spring, and finding inspiration in your garden!