Goodbye, autumn’s colorful leaves, hello…

As I sit gazing out the picture window, I see a non-stop flow of leaves blowing horizontally through my field of view. The cat has been agitated since this wind storm began to stir things up last night – he’s not a fan of the wind I think. Most all of the brightly colored leaves that I have been enjoying for the past few weeks have been pounded off by the rain or blown off the trees now. There are a few trees here and there whose leaves appear to be hanging on for dear life as the stormy wind blows, shaking and pulling them in its attempt to strip the trees for winter.

Stormy Garden
Take a walk in a stormy conifer garden and you'll still have quite a lot to see and enjoy.

One advantage to my deciduous trees dropping their leaves is, in their bareness, they open up new views to my garden that I have missed seeing from this location since early spring when I rejoiced in the arrival of their new foliage. One of the new spaces I planted is on the opposite side of a very unique Japanese maple I acquired some years ago. Although I love this odd little tree, it is nice that through the winter months, as it waits patiently for spring, it becomes almost invisible, allowing me a view of some terrific dwarf and miniature conifers sitting alongside a few of my new lavender plants.

Conifer Garden
The conifer garden is full of color, texture and excitement - even during the most dreary weather.

I have fewer perennials to clean up this autumn since my conifers are growing and filling in space. I continue to add more conifers in places where I have pulled out other more troublesome plants. As beautiful as the conifer garden is through the growing season, it is the late fall and winter months, when other ornamental plants are turning to brown heaps or bare twigs, that my conifers really shine in the garden. Even in the most dreary, cold, wet, gray, windy days, the conifers stand center stage in all their glorious texture, color and assortment of interesting shapes and forms. How much more dreary, the winter garden would be, without conifers.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for coming along with me,

Conifer Lover

(And thanks to Mr. Smith, my photographer friend at Iseli, for getting these stormy weather garden shots with his iPhone, at a moments notice.)

8 thoughts on “Goodbye, autumn’s colorful leaves, hello…

  1. Hi Ed… I do love it when you post these wonderful garden views. They inspire me to try things which may not be entirely hardy here but worth the extra effort. My gardens now have the appearance of being a land of ‘mummies’ with burlap tents covering all sorts of special ‘friends’, but I am not bothered by this, as I know spring will be more glorious than ever because of the extra effort. Have a great thanksgiving and keep publishing these wonderful articles… and long views of the gardens at Iseli!! Sincerely, Larry


    1. Good to hear from you, Larry! It sounds as though you are well prepared for winter. I suppose with your plants protected as you describe, it won’t be noticeable, as they will be buried in the snow, creating a wonderful sculptural effect. I think I’d love to see some photos of your gardens in the snow.


  2. My jaw dropped when I saw your pictures. How beautiful!
    My husband and I purchased our very first home a year ago and the backyard was completely bare. It has been a slow but very fun project to learn about different plants and trees while looking for options to put in our yard. So far we have a beautiful Crabapple “Profusion” and a Cleveland Pear who looked gorgeous this Spring! we also planted an apple tree (Honeycrisp) and a Red Canadian Cherry. However, during this last winter (our very first winter) we noticed the lack of color and excitement in our yard… thus, we started our search for evergreens! We LOVE the color of the Colorado Blue Spruce, but the tree is a bit too big for our yard… we have been looking for a Baby Blue Eye, but those have been very hard to find! we just recently added a row of 3-junipers (Blue Point), BUT… we would like to add some everygreens with different colors and textures… On your second picture, we fell in love with the grass looking plant, as well as the green-yellow shrub, and redish shrub next to it. Would you mind sharing their names with us? Thank you! and thanks for such great blog! 🙂


  3. Hi Tabata! Thanks for your comments. These photos of the Jean Iseli Memorial Garden were taken over six years ago and the grass-like plant you mention is no longer part of the garden, so I cannot help with that one. The lovely yellow plant is a dwarf conifer under evaluation and not available yet, although it is very similar to Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Lutea’, which you should be able to find easily. The red plant is a dwarf Barberry called, Berberis thunbergii ‘Concorde’ and is a wonderful color complement with colorful conifers.


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