Brown Is Beautiful

Brown is a color often removed from a garden, not valued. By the time flowers turn brown they are called refuse, and the spent plants are sanitized out the flowerbed. Some trim flowerbeds nearly to their crowns in fall cleanup. It makes sense to get rid of diseased plant material, but healthy brown plants in decline may have a bit more to give than is apparent. First snowfall this season reminded me of this. Plants I hadn’t noticed before, contrasted against the white. Their delicate brown beauty were among details of post growing season that may still reward for little gardener effort. Of course, wildlife appreciate the shelter left in the garden.

To illustrate the decline in color and intensity yet continuing beauty in the details of brown, I found these Autumn photos. Most leaves are off the trees except for Cottonwood trees in the distance.


With less brilliant yellow leaves to see, notice the oranges and browns of the native grasses in the foreground.


Here browns are jeweled with frozen fog.


Now we see the tones of brown and the movement of wind in the grass. Brown is beautiful.


A walk outdoors is a way to enjoy brown in Nature firsthand. These photos were taken at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area. For more on brown as summer as well as off-season color, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, October 2014, has more to say on this topic. The magazine is available at the Yankton Community Library.

Thank you for your visit to Plant Exchange Blog. Please note many other topics about tens of other gardeners and their plant growing adventures.

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