Fall in South Carolina

Johanna Smith here in Aiken, South Carolina, with pleasures and treasures from my fall garden.

My Meyer lemon tree (Citrus × meyeri, Zones 8–11) has become as wide as my shed, and I’m hoping for lots of lemons next year.

banana plant with a light pink flower in bloomThis a banana plant (Musa sp.) given to me by a neighbor. I have no idea what variety it is, and neither does she, but it was quite a surprise to see this beautiful flower from my bedroom window. The hummingbirds love it too. If I get bananas, that will be a bonus.

close up of prickly pear cactus fruitMy prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.) is showing off with large purple fruit, which adds color to my fall garden.

close up of a large arborvitae shrubThis is a huge, 14-year-old arborvitae (Thuja sp., Zones 5–8) purchased at a nursery yard sale. We’ve named it “The Deluxe Bird Hotel.” It’s a home to mockingbirds, blue jays, and many other birds.

small garden bed with large rock and blue agaveMy neighbor gave me these beautiful blue-hued plants. She calls them century plants. Whether they’re agave or mangave, I don’t know, but I love the blue color. (Editor’s note: They look like Agave americana, Zones 8–10.) In March of this year they were barely visible above the soil.

close up of a tomato plantThe tomato plant I planted in late July rewarded me with tomatoes. So far I have picked a few for salad and sandwiches.

close up of Osmanthus fragransMy osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans, Zones 7–10) were in full bloom, and the scent was delightful. Osmanthus flowers may be small, but they pack an intense scent that fills a whole garden.

close up of small tree with dark, almost black foliageMy ‘Black Diamond’ crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘Black Diamond’, Zones 6–10) got in on the act. The dark foliage is a nice contrast to the yellow and bright green surrounding it.


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