Make your way to the Native Flora Garden, Elizabeth Scholtz Woodland Garden, Maple Grove, Discovery Garden, and more for brilliant waves of autumn colors.
Native Flora Garden: Brilliant Colors and Soft Textures
The Native Flora Garden’s small forest is stunning in autumn and contains some of the oldest plants in the Garden.
- The 100-foot-tall, century-old sweetgum tree with deep crimson foliage, just inside the upper gate, to the right of the path.
- A gorgeous black tupelo, nearly as old, near the kettle pond. Its foliage starts out gold and progresses to deep orange and then to brilliant red.
- Sumacs with dramatic multihued foliage throughout the garden. Often you can see green, yellow, orange, and red leaves on a single plant at once!
Also be sure to visit the meadow, where you’ll see colorful grasses and wildflowers, as well as the feathery seed heads of butterfly milkweed and fluffy white Virgin’s bower, a species of clematis.
Spectacular autumn hues start to appear in October throughout the Garden. From golden ginkgos and redbuds to multihued maples, swaying grasses, and late-season wildflowers, fall offers a buffet of color and texture.
- The katsura tree, just east of Oak Circle. One of the oldest trees in the Garden, this lovely vase-shaped tree is particularly spectacular in fall. Its leaf color progresses in bands from yellow to orange, then to pink and red.
- Rows of deep red scarlet oaks flanking Cherry Esplanade and a small grove of yellow-leaved ginkgos at the southeast corner.
- Black tupelos with brilliant reddish orange foliage in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden, and a variety of colorful sumacs and maples in the Discovery Garden and behind the Steinhardt Conservatory.
Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden: Colorful Vistas
When fall foliage season hits its peak, the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden offers sweeping views of a landscape filled with many maple species and cultivars in unrivaled shades of orange, red, yellow, and purple.
- Three gorgeous 20-foot-tall Japanese maples, just inside the front gate. These cultivars (Acer palmatum ‘Scolopendrifolium’) have lacy leaves that turn many shades of red and purple.
- Two cutleaf maples with gracefully twisted trunks and branches, along the path near the island. Their foliage will progress from brilliant yellow to deep reddish orange.
- Evergreens throughout the garden, pruned in the Japanese tradition to make them appear windswept and old.
The structures and paths in a Japanese garden help create composed views. Notice the different perspectives as you stand in the teahouse-style pavilion, on the wooden bridge across the pond, and along the path leading to the Shinto shrine, near the highest point in the garden.
With its winding paths, jutting boulders, and alpine plants, the Rock Garden is enchanting in autumn.
- A variety of stonecrop species growing in beds among the rocks. Many bloom in autumn, and some produce colorful, succulent leaves.
- Other bright summer blooms that persist through early fall, including purple-speckled toad-lilies and cheerful Japanese anemones.
- Distinctive evergreens, including spruces, junipers, and firs. The needles of the pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens ‘Nutans’), a deciduous conifer, turn orange-brown in the fall before dropping in winter.
- Maples, dogwoods, and other deciduous trees in fall color.
Small shrubs and perennials in glorious fall color at eye level and at your feet along Belle’s Brook.
A lovely variety of native plants, many with fall blooms, foliage, and beautiful seed heads, in the Discovery Garden.
The Bonsai Museum’s carefully pruned trees, also in fall glory.
Sprays of colorful, starlike asters in the Shakespeare Garden, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden, and the Discovery Garden.