Even before winter is fully upon us, the flower buds of Magnolia x loeberni 'Leonard Messel' offer the promise of Spring.
Throughout most of the autumn, Leonard Messel offers some of the brightest foliage color in the garden.
By the time November rolls around, the bright autumn foliage has changed into a deep, rich copper color that is every bit as beautiful. I am a true fan of November's color palette, with all of its faded browns, oranges and beiges; even given the senescence and decay that is obvious in most of the plants, for me it's one of the best months in the garden and it presents some wonderful opportunities for the garden photographer. The photo below of Magnolia 'Leonard Messel's' colorful leaves strewn all over the lawn was post edited using Photoshop's 'Oil Paint' filter that can be found under the Filter>Stylize menu.
The Oil Paint effect can be as subtle or as dramatic as you'd like. In this photo I chose a more subtle effect, but one that still can be seen when you click to enlarge the photo.
By the time winter is in high gear, the flower buds have begun to swell even more. Then, with the Magnolia being one of the earliest harbingers of spring, it's fingers crossed that a late frost doesn't, in the space of one early morning, destroy all that it has taken an entire autumn and winter to prepare for.