The garden right now

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Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) is displaying a lovely clear yellow color this year. This mid-sized tree is an excellent wildlife plant, like all cherries, but its tendency to form thickets makes it difficult to use in most gardens. You have to give it room to spread.

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Many native perennials provide a second burst of garden interest in the form of vivid leaf color. The bright red is sundrops, Oenothera fruticosa.

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From left to right: orange chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), yellow spicebush (Lindera benzoin), and dark red flowering dogwood (Cornus florida).

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A detailed look at those chokeberry leaves.

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Seeds of little bluestem (Schizachrium scoparium) turn a tranclucent silver in the autumn sunlight. After the birds eat them, the stalks will turn pink and remain through the winter.

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Most perennials have gone to seed, but New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) will continue to bloom for a few more weeks.

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Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) never fails to delight. Its autumn color is usually a brilliant orange red, but right now, the few remaining leaves are a deep russet.

These photos were all taken yesterday. Enjoy the bright colors on this dark, rainy day. And remember how badly we need the rain!

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