"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Autumn Colors -- My Favorites October 2010

One thing I have missed living in Florida is seeing the autumn colors on the trees and in the gardens.   My hometown in China has distinct season changes, and when I was kid, I loved to see autumn breeze blew those orange, brown, red and yellow leaves off  the trees, and then I would chase those leaves along the road. 

Yes, I do love living in Florida, especially I can garden here all year long.  But every year this time, I still find myself missing those autumn colors, and always try to find something around me that can remind me those time I spent in China when I was a kid.

Here are the autumn colors I found in my garden. 

Crotons' colorful leaves look like this all year long, but I found they seem more noticeable in Fall.

This bush has green leaves with yellow spots.  It seems quite popular in South Florida landscape. Both my previous and current houses had this in the garden before we moved in.  They seem to be just there all year long, and I even have not bothered to find its name until today!  My camera did find it is quite a good Autumn color for my collection, don't you think?   I know I will have the answer soon from my garden friends out there...

The leaves of Acalypha Wlkesiana (Copperleaf or Beafsteak) are the ones that closest to the autumn colors in my mind.  They do change the color from green to red/orange between the new leaves and more matured ones.

Bromeliads are showing their colorful foliages even mother plants are fading away.

Orange color is the most cheerful Autumn color in the garden. 

Bulbine Frutescens


Aechmea blanchetiana 'Orangeade'

Indian Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia pulchella)

The following two plants are newly additions to the garden.  I found they also have nice Autumn colors.  I bought the first one without any label on it.  Is it Hawaiian Ti?

This one was simply marked as "Cordyline".  Anybody knows its variety name?

Firespike (Odontonema strictum) just pasted its peak time.   This is the first time I have ever planted Firespike.  Is this its seed pod?  It does look like Autumn "Fruit" to me...

This begonia has silver/purple color when the leaves mature, another beautiful Autumn color.

Various coleus in the garden has been making my garden so colorful for months, but today I found they actually make a good fall collection too!

After publishing the post initially, I realized that it is that time of the month again!  Every 25th day of each month, Susan at Simply Susan! invites us to join her to publish our favorites of the month.  I think this post is perfect for that, Autumn colors are definitely my favorites of my October Garden!

You may also have noticed that it has been about one month since my last post, which was for September Favorites.   I have been quite busy for months now both at work and home.  Recently my parents also came to visit us from China. They will stay with us for six months, and kids can have more time to know their grandparents.  Parents are both in their 70s.  They have visited us three times since I came to US almost sixteen years ago, and this time I really feel how age can impact a person.  I treasure this opportunity that I can stay with them for a period of time, and finally can take care of them like they have nurtured me when I was young.  Even I still go back to China to visit them, I know the time I am having with them now is so precious.  So, I guess between trying to be a good wife, mother, and daughter, and holding a full time job, I won't have much time to blog.  I know I will still enjoy visiting my favorite blogs, and might comment when I can.  Hopefully,  I also can occasionally show some new flowers from my garden in my blog.

Happy Gardening, My Friends!


  1. You've found so many fabulous plants with Autumn colours ... it's almost like being amongst an Autumn landscape! Your second picture looks like another Croton to me as I have one that's very similar. Enjoy all those wonderful colours.

  2. Your autumn colors are so vibrant. I especially like that purple begonia. It is just beautiful. I don't know what the firespike is doing with that bloom. I have seen that on mine as well, but no seeds form.

  3. Love your Autumn colors. Everything looks lush and lovely. That purple leaved begonia is wonderful.

    Enjoy your week ~ FlowerLady

  4. Hi Ami...I will miss seeing you post as often as in the past, but you are right...this is a precious time and a gift, so enjoy the time with your parents.

    Great selection of autumn-colored plants. Love that orangeade brom...I must purchase one of them. And, the purple begonia is wonderful. I am very fond of begonias and find myself buying more and more of them. Thanks for joining in, and again, enjoy the time you have with your parents. It will be wonderful for your children.

  5. Hi Ami

    Great photos! You've given me lots of ideas for fall-colored plants that should work well here in the Houston area, thanks! Enjoy and treasure this time with your family - make the most of it while you can. We'll be here when you are ready to blog again.

  6. Glad to see you back for a visit, Ami! I've always been amazed at your gardening, as I remember how little time I had when my kids were little and I was working full time outside the home. It is good that you are putting family first, especially at such a time in life when you are so busy with your career. Grandparents are so important in a child's life. Time really does pass so quickly.

    About your autumn faves...those are definitely Hawaiian ti's. The second looks like 'Kiwi,' which I have in my garden. As a matter of fact, so many of your featured plants today are also some of my garden faves. That firespike, which I do not have, looks really cool.

  7. Ami,
    In South Florida the Autumn doesn't provide us with the traditional "changing of the leaves". But we do have our own unique seasonal markers here.This month starts the annual South Florida "Browning of the lawns" which will run from now till next May when the rains return. We also get the "Migration of the buzzards " from now until December.They can be seen gliding carefree on the air currents round here for the next few months.:] Enjoy your time with your family.

  8. Bernie: Thanks for giving me suggestion of the name of the second picture. Let me see if I can confirm the name in our local nursery. I have been taking it for granted, and I think it is the time I found its name :)

  9. NanaK and FlowerLady:

    That purple leaved begonia has interesting foliage. The one I shown is when they are matured, the younger leaves has glossy green color with deep red on the back. Very pretty. It occassionally flowers, but I love it even for the foliage alone.

  10. Susan:

    My orange broms came from my friend at work, and now they are producing the pup already. They are really a beautiful staple plants in the garden. If you are close by, I would love to give you one pup!

    Begonias are easy to get addited to! I found from the internet that there is a nursery about one hour away from my place has lots of begonia collection. I think someday I will visit there, and get more for my garden! Your lotus leaved begonia is one I really love!

  11. Jayne: Thanks! Glad to give you some ideas for the Autumn colors. Here we don't really have the "color changing" with the season, but we always can create some Autumn colors ourselves :)

    Houston weather has lots in common with South Florida, and I am sure most of plants here should grow well in your area as well.

  12. FG: I love both gardening and blogging, but at this stage, Family has to be the first. Parents' health is declining, and I really want to make the most out of it when I still can have the time with them.

    Thanks for identifying that cordyline for me! Kiwi sounds a delicious name! I know I always can count on you for plant identification :)

    Oh, I don't think I have thanked you for correcting me the name of what I called "rose of sharon" in my previous post. I checked the Anderson crape hibiscus picutre, they do look same as what I have. THANKS!!!

  13. Sanddune: LOL! I guess since I have removed more and more lawns from my garden, I tend to ignore those "Browning of the lawns", or my eyes are "trained" to look beyond those brown spots, and only look the pretty flowers/foliage in my garden beds :)

    Hmmm, now I need to pay more attention to "Migration of the buzzards". I have not noticed that before.

  14. How lovely for your kids to have their grandparents around for a while. I loved your photos and you have a wide variety of colour in your garden, we in the tropics just have to look at our gardens differently without the distinct change of seasons.

  15. africanaussie: living here in the tropics, I try to "create" or seak the seasonal colors in the garden, and use a little more imaginations too :)

  16. Dear Ami,
    You have photographed some really great autumn colors. It must hard missing the fall change of leaves and seasons. But like you said, we have many other advantages in a Florida garden.

    Really love that purple foliage on the begonia! Need to look for that one.

    Enjoy your parents' visit and your family. Time with them is most important. We'll see you when we can!

  17. Enjoy your time with your parents! I'm sure they're thrilled to be with you and your children and also enjoying the beautiful garden you've created!

    I love all that colorful foliage!

  18. Such pretty autumn shades all year round in the garden. I love those colours and they also mingle and mix well together. The flower which is strange to me is the Odontema strictum, it looks odd to me.
    Ami, best wishes and see you around when your time allows it. T.

  19. You are good in time management. When I was working full time with little kids, I don't even have time for any kind of gardening. You have even managed to nurture such a beautiful garden. The foliage in your garden are lush and colourful.

  20. Love your garden photography and collection of plants! Enjoyed viewing some of them! Thanks for sharing! Best wishes :)


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