Color Theory, Creative in the Garden, Creative in the Kitchen

Fooling mother nature: Autumn color study

The Autumn chill is really late in coming this year here in my tree surrounded property and much of my summer garden is still perky. So I have had a creative impulse to see if I could keep it that way until my Open Studio this year utilizing some frost gardening tricks gleaned from my years in California.

When I woke early the other morning I saw that temps were dropping at sunrise to 32°; our first frost—and a surprise. So I scooted out with head lamp donned to bring in the last of the vegetable garden across the road. Fried green tomatoes, chili tomato chutney and the rest to dry and grind into powder.


But in the gardens on our side of the road at my home and studio doors, I was not yet ready to let them go. The turkish eggplants are just now turning orange and I had envisioned that splash of color into autumn. The dahlias on the other side of the walkway are still going and, because I love the combination of the two tones flanking the walkway as we enter the home and studio, I decided to try to keep them going.

I put plastic garbage bags over the eggplant and a heavy sheet over the dahlia. It worked! I put some mulch around their bases for further protection and will continue to cover them when the temps get low at night. With days still going into the 70’s my little green-house effect may keep them going until Open Studio. Fingers crossed!

Trukish eggplant and dalias-
Color theory 10:15:17-

Gradations of warm to cool, orange to pink, yellow to green.

10 thoughts on “Fooling mother nature: Autumn color study”

  1. With the wildfires raging here in northern California, your words and pics are especially soothing. I was ready to forget frost and just let my garden go. Instead, I will continue to nurture it and hope for the best….lots of green tomatoes yet and alstromerias ready to bloom again!

    1. EVERYONE here is thinking and praying for all of you there. We are so comforted to know that the area where our main family is, is safe. Unlike friends we know that have lost their entire homes! Let us stay cheery with our gardens and colors to bring us all through…

  2. Jane is correct! There are many of us keeping you in our prayers- in our case, our morning prayer before our first meal of the day. We ask Our Father’s Blessings to you and your community,

    Jane, I have always thought of orange with brown when putting together autumn outfits. However, as your photos demonstrate, nature’s sense of color is much better developed than mine and much more joyful.

  3. I love your attention to color and texture, Jane! I will be paying more attention as I’m out and about to see if I can notice all of the nuanced and bold colors of fall. Thank you for raising my awareness.

  4. I would try and fool Mother Nature too with all that you have left in your garden. Good luck! I miss fall in New England, New Hampshire this time of the year is just wonderful.

    1. Karen, thanks for the encouragement. You must remember well with your large property here in NH. But the warmer weather must have its advantages. Glad you fared thru the storms and that your health is better. Thanks commenting!

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