Garden Design

Fall in Nicki’s Garden

Today we’re in Lake Bluff, Illinois (north of Chicago), visiting Nicki Snoblin’s garden.

I am often attracted to pristine garden beds filled with colorful and unblemished flowers and foliage. This is real life, however, and my garden rarely looks that way. It’s been really helpful to me to follow GPOD and see what other people find beautiful in their own gardens. I’m learning to appreciate the beauty in my very imperfect fall garden. Here are some examples.

dogwood surrounded by other fall plantingsThe back corner of my yard includes flowering dogwood (Cornus florida, Zones 5–9) and ligularia (Ligularia dentata, Zones 3–8) in the foreground and Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Tiger Eyes’, Zones 4–8) in back.

Interesting bark on the dogwood.Interesting bark on the dogwood

The wild back corner, with sumac brightening it up.The wild back corner, with sumac brightening it up. That’s hyacinth bean (Dolichos lablab, annual) on the trellises (which I put up to try to obscure the utility pole), but it never bloomed. On the left in the foreground is a weigela (Weigela florida, Zones 5–9).

Japanese maple and some rose hips.Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) and some rose hips

azalea plantNow to the front yard: in the foreground, a small hydrangea (probably Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Wedding Gown’, Zones 5–9); beyond that, an azalea (Rhododendron hybrid) I’ve had for many years.

Two blue holliesTwo blue hollies (Ilex × meserveae, Zones 4–9) are planted together: ‘Castle Wall’ (male) and ‘Castle Spire’ (female, with berries).

HeucherellaA Heucherella (× Heucherella, Zones 4–9) begins to change color with the cooler weather.

begonias with some Japanese frosted grassAn angel wing begonia (Begonia hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) has been battered by wind and storms but is sticking around to the bitter end (frost is expected in a few days). On the left is a Japanese maple; on the right, Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9).

gnome gardenIt’s about time to put my gnome garden to bed for the winter. It’s in a window box on the shed; I could never keep plants alive there.

outdoor seating areaOur “summer house” transforms into an “autumn house” when we remove the tabletop and switch to the firepit.

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