Just Because It’s Fall…

doesn’t mean the flower beds are empty.  Actually, I think my garden looks best in late summer and fall than any other time.

My Callicarpa americana (aka Beautyberry) is full of berries.  This Arkansas native shrub grows well in my bed that receives full sun until around mid afternoon.  Birds will eat the berries but I have noticed they are the last of the berries to be eaten.  That’s ok with me.  When the leaves have fallen off the trees, the purple really stands out and I can enjoy the view a while longer.

callicarpa, beautyberry callicarpa, beautyberry callicarpa, beautyberry

The toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta) have begun their show for the fall, too.

toad lily toad lily

This is a great plant for shade.  I have read that it can grow up to 3 ft., but I’ve had these particular plants for years and they have never grown over 18 inches tall for me.  The flowers are small and orchid-like, so don’t plant too far away from your eyes.

Gaura lindheimeri also known as ‘Whirling Butterflies’ is just now starting to bloom.  I was beginning to wonder about her.  She bloomed all summer last year and not one bloom until now.  I guess she decided she would bloom when she was good and ready.  I understand girl.

gaura gaura

The old-fashioned petunias are still going strong.  They will withstand a light frost/freeze, so I will get to enjoy them a couple of more weeks.

old fashioned petunia

The Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is really glowing now.  This is more of a small tree than bush.  This is also an Arkansas native plant that can multi task like crazy.  It starts in the early spring with small, yellow flowers.  The leaves then serve as a host plant (food) for the spicebush swallowtail and in the fall you get this gorgeous yellow.  What a hard worker!

spicebush spicebush

Amsonia hubrectii (Arkansas Blue Star) is also a hard worker. It is drought resistant, bug-free, and deer free.   Small blue flowers appear in the spring, turning to lush green foliage in the summer and then yellow in the fall (although it’s just now starting that process).  Amsonia is one of my favorite shrubs in the whole wide world.


And last but not least, I have the garden area that I planted in winter wheat and rye.  This is such a quick-growing cover crop, I was able to let the chickens check it out within a couple of weeks.


It was chicken approved.

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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20 Responses to Just Because It’s Fall…

  1. Are the beauty berries edible or just for the birds? They are beautiful.


  2. Chicken approved! Can’t get any better than that.


  3. Holleygarden says:

    Thanks for the info on the toad lilies. I just may have to give them a try – I’m always looking for shade plants. I fill up sunny areas with roses, but shade is difficult for me.


  4. All the best plants for fall making it a beautiful month in my garden too!


  5. Becky says:

    Lucky you, to have eggs from chickens who get to run around outdoors! : ) We get all of our eggs from my nephew who lives down the road…the most beautiful eggs!


  6. Did you know Monet had Callicarpa in his garden? I’d seen photos of it for years, but never ‘met’ it in-person until I saw it at Giverney… 😀
    Love spicebush…they’re native here as well. They say that the leaves work to repel insects if you rub them on your skin. They smell great, at least…


    • No, I didn’t know that. That’s going back a few years. I didn’t know that about the spicebush either, but I’ve heard the Callicarpa leaves will repel insects, also. So now I have another reason to love these plants.


  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    My callicarpa’s leaves are already gone and Amsonia is showing it’s fall colors here. Your garden is certainly full of a lot of beauty this time of the year!


  8. I just bought a dwarf Asian Callicarpa but I’m really wishing I had the C, americana. How big does it get? I have several spicebush, it’s a great shrub, but I am frustrated because I haven’t seen any caterpillars and it takes about two seconds for the birds to eat the beautiful berries.


    • My Callicarpa is about 4 ft. tall and wide. It tends to spread low to the ground if planted in too much shade and can get up to 6 ft. tall in full sun. Mine gets sun until mid afternoon.
      I can’t imagine why you don’t have any caterpillars on your spicebush. Do you ever see the butterflies? Do you think the birds are getting to them?


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  10. Pingback: Spring Has Sprung | The Blonde Gardener

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