Stonecrop in Autumn

By Alison Rooney

Autumn wasn’t in full show-off mode during Stonecrop Garden’s final organized walk of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 18. With colors not reaching their usual peaks by this time of the year, the culprit, said Stonecrop horticulturalist Robin Young, who led the late afternoon to early evening stroll, was the lack of cool nights thus far.

Robin Young (Photo by A. Rooney)

Though there’s been ample moisture and lots of warm sunny days, both components in the color spectrum equation, the lack of a cold snap means things are running a bit later than usual, and that this may just not be an incredible year for color. “In a couple of weeks they’ll be peaking and amazing,” Young said, “and tonight, well, I’ll be telling you just how amazing they’ll be.”

Regardless, the garden was in a muted splendor, the flower gardens still vivid, the rest of the property displaying the full array of leaf pigments in shades of green, orange, yellow, red and purple — or, as was explained: chlorophyll, carotenoids, xanthophylls and anthocyanins.

Accompanied throughout most of the 90-minute walk by Timmy, one of Stonecrop’s two resident cats (his sister Tammy wasn’t feeling social), an interested group soaked up information from Young, who stopped at different shrubs, trees, grasses and more, offering details on each. The tour concluded with sundown casting its own orange spell over the beautiful grounds.

Stonecrop, located on Route 301 east of Cold Spring, closes for the season on Oct. 31. It will reopen in April.

Photos by A. Rooney

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