Thursday, October 15, 2015

Litterfall on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Litterfall. Plant material that falls to the ground, such as leaves from trees. 

Fall is upon us covering my garden with a layer of litterfall: beautiful orange, red and brown leaves. I like the term 'litterfall' so much more than 'leaf litter' (which evokes kitty litter in my mind.) The sound of leaf blowers will soon disrupt the peace of the neighborhood, but my early morning garden exudes tranquility. I stroll with my camera, finding places to sit for a moment to enjoy the season. The walnut tree's cast-iron bench provides a beautiful view of the changing leaves around the top field.

H.H. found the circular bench, an item he always wanted, on Craig's list. It came with a matching love seat and chairs. I placed the love seat on the front porch to display a basket of mums. I haven't decided where to put the chairs yet.

The sunrise caused a reflection in the storm door glass, so you can't see my pretty fall wreath very clearly. You can better view the autumn wreath on the potting shed door in the kitchen garden. I purchased the wreath at the Quiet Valley Harvest Festival last weekend -- a story for a future blog posting.

All sorts of birds cover the sunflowers in the kitchen garden searching for seeds. I wont cut down the plants while birds continue to enjoy them.

A titmouse searches for sunflower seeds ...
... success!

 So what is blooming in my garden on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day? ...

Nasturtiums in the kitchen garden.
Fading phlox.
Borrage -- one of my favorite blue flowers, beloved by pollinators.

One word describes the morning glories this year: stunning! They continue to bloom as they climb over several arbors.

Morning glory, zinnias, and cleome.

Small lilac-colored blooms cover the butterfly bush in the cottage garden. I've been careful to remove the flowers as soon as they go to seed because buddleia is now on the Invasive Plants Watch List in the state of Pennsylvania. Apparently, birds and wind spread the seeds and the shrub grows along roadsides threatening milkweed. I haven't noticed any on my travels, but I know the importance of prevention.

Buddleia, butterfly bush with numerous blossoms
All my roses give a beautiful farewell to summer.
Bee covered in pollen from Russian Sage, another of my favorite blue flowers.
Snapdragons, roses, and clematis in the Horseshoe Garden.
Hydrangea blooms achieve their final fall color.

I conclude my walk in the Stone Garden where the litterfall is thick and fuschia blooms in the stone pots. I would like to overwinter some of my container plants, so I must do something soon: the weather forecast calls for below freezing temperatures, frost, and maybe even a little of the white stuff this weekend. Brr...

Litterfall is thickest under the maple trees in the Stone Garden.

Gardeners often remove litterfall for aesthetic purposes, but it is an important and functional aspect of ecosystem dynamics, continuing to provide for the surrounding environment. We should not be in a hurry to remove all dead plant material that falls to the ground. I leave all litterfall in the Woodland Walk, for example, and shred and return leaves to flower beds in other parts of the garden. Read about the benefits of fallen leaves here.

The weather man says today was beautiful from coast-to-coast (at last), so I hope my American garden friends enjoyed it. In whatever part of the world you garden, I wish you a happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! I urge you to visit Carol's blog at May Dream's Gardens where she hosts this wonderful meme. I love to see what is blooming all around the world on the 15th of each month, thanks to you, Carol!

Love to all,
Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. We're getting quite a bit of litterfall here this week as well, but I have to say it isn't nearly as colorful and attractive as yours. Happy Bloom Day!

    1. It is prettier at the beginning, Dorothy. When the catalpa trees lose their very large leaves (they are not colored - just dead) the shade garden looks awful.

  2. Walking barefoot on autumn litter is one of my childhood dreams. Now i added something to that, to photograph a lot of the scenes as well. At least your flowers are already past their prime when your winter or frost arrives, or else it is a very sad thing to see those lovely flowers wilt with conditions.

    1. The end of peak bloom is sad, Kalantikan, but as my plants become tired, so do I. This was a fantastic gardening year and now my plants and I need to rest. Thanks for visiting!

  3. You still have blooms...woo hoo ! I see you're in the autumn mode , this is always sweet.

  4. just learning to enjoy my shiny new borage flowers.

  5. There are some beauties remain on your garden, especially the morning glory and cleome. Happy gardening...

  6. I think litterfall is beautiful when new, all those gorgeous colours. It's only once we've had rainfall and it turns mushy that it isn't quite so pleasing. Your yellow rose is beautiful, do you know what variety it is? I'm leaving my sunflowers for the birds too. The ones I sowed weren't very successful, the taller varieties didn't germinate and I only managed three dwarf ones, but I noticed lots of seedlings underneath the bird feeder so I left them to grow and they've been stunning. The birds will get many more seeds from the heads now they've finished flowering.

    1. Now I remember now how much you love yellow roses, Jo. That one is Sunny Knock Out -- one of the few Knock Out roses with a fragrance. P. x

  7. Thank you for a very enjoyable walk around your garden ! I love the fallen leaves when they are newly fallen and dry, and kicking through them is a pleasure! Glad you have had some lovely weather to help you enjoy your autumn garden!

  8. I've never, ever seen buddliea growing wild, yet they say it's invasive. There's no way I can keep mine deadheaded, the big fat carpenter bees cover mine at all times, and I can't get near it! I enjoyed my tour through your fall garden. There is no litterfall at my house, the leaves from my small trees just blow away. I guess I should be grateful!

  9. I have very little litterfall here. The silver maple has dropped enough to make a light scattered cover but still has most of its leaves. The Sugar Maple has yet to drop any leaves but when it does I'll definitely have my share of leaves to shred and bury in the beds.

    I love butterfly bushes, but until you brought it up I had no idea it was no considered an invasive plant. Thanks for the heads up.

  10. I'm never in a hurry to clear away the litterfall. (I like that term and will us it now. Thanks!) Why rush around to rake everything up, when it will continue to happen for several weeks. Plus, we often have windstorms in late October and November that blow the leaves into the woods. Since we own the woodland property, it's OK! When I do rake, I usually simply haul the leaves into the woods. Any leaves that accumulate on my flower beds remain there as mulch to help protect the plants during the winter. I had heard about Buddleia being a problem in some areas of the country. Apparently, there's at least one sterile variety now that doesn't re-seed. I don't have any Buddleia in my garden, but the butterflies sure do go for it at the botanical gardens! Your wreaths and your white benches are lovely!

  11. I love that word 'literfall'! I hadn't heard it before. I have 'Miss Molly' Buddleia in the garden, which is supposed to be sterile and non-invasive. I'm glad they seem to be making more sterile varieties now. I just love your pictures of the birds and the sunflowers! Most of my sunflowers are planted too far away from my windows to birdwatch. I get to see all the goldfinches hopping about my coneflowers and cosmos, though.

  12. Your October garden is a treat Pam. I do think litterfall sounds far better than leaf litter. I always though of cat litter when I hear/say it too.
    Thankfully we don't hear many leaf blowers around here and now all the birds are back in the garden it is delightful to hear them again.
    Love the shot with the Titmouse - well captured.

  13. Pam, what lovely autumn scenes in your gardens! And I love your wreath -- very seasonal. I wish you a warm continuation of fall and a cozy transition into winter. Best Regards, -Beth

  14. Love the benches, just lovely! Litterfall does sound better, great term. Wonderful photos of a gorgeous fall.

  15. Pam fall loves your many flowers blooming among the gorgeous changing foliage...we had a nip of frost while we were away last week so some things like nasturtium are gone now. But much is left to admire for a while longer! I adore your front porch and oh the morning glories!