Bright and Beautiful

Forsythia

Forsythia

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The garden looks bright and beautiful today with golden October sunshine on our colorful leaves.

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Dogwood

Dogwood

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We are still on the early side of the transition here, with many trees still green.  Others have a halo of color along their silhouette, or sport leaves with mottled color.  We enjoy the beautiful transition from green to bold before they brown and blow away.

~October 23, 2015 trees 024

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We enjoy colorful foliage throughout the season, and select plants for the garden with interesting and colorful leaves.

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October 23, 2015 trees 031

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Some of these, like purple sage, will remain unchanged as winter approaches.

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This Afghan fig will grow into a small tree.

This Afghan fig will grow into a small tree.

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I’ve read several articles this week about winter gardens.  While we don’t have much man made architecture, we enjoy the living sculpture of deciduous trees, hollies, Camellias, and a few conifers.  We have added many shrubs for winter interest in the garden during our short time here, and now many of them have begun to grow into their promise.  Our Hellebores are spreading and we have added many evergreen ferns.

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Camellias growing through Dogwood

Camellias growing through Dogwood

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I catch myself imagining what the garden will look like after the frosts cut back the tender growth in a few weeks.  Some of our new Camellias are now covered with buds.  But they are hidden behind Cannas and other leaves at the moment.  It won’t be long until they come back into view, shining in the winter sunshine.

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Yesterday was Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day.  I’ve been taking photos of our beautiful leaves all week, focusing on the special beauty of our forest garden now, in late October.

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October 18k, 2015 extraordinary 019

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We are blessed with many interesting trees and shrubs in our garden.  Most have been here now for decades, but we have planted several dozen more.  We love their foliage, their bark, their flowers, and the shade they give.  We enjoy the variety of birds who visit to eat their berries, feed on insects living in them, and find shelter in their branches.

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October 18k, 2015 extraordinary 015

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A friend, who understands my love for trees, gave me an article last night written by an English gardener who has experienced the loss of Ash and other trees to various pests and diseases around  in the English countryside.  She wrote poignantly about how trees give us a sense of place.  They define our familiar landscapes.  They create our beautiful spaces which make us feel ‘at home.’

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American Holly

American Holly

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While every tree has a lifespan, most live much longer than do we humans.  We expect the trees of our lives to live on past us.  We know that most mature trees were here long before we were born.  We see them as stalwart and as a fixture of our lives we may depend upon.

It is always a bit shocking when one comes down in a storm or dies of a blight.  It is heartbreaking when wildfires claim them.

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Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress

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The author spoke about our rapidly changing landscapes, and how our children and grandchildren may grow accustomed to losing trees and forests; seeing meadows developed into shopping centers; and wooded areas cut for subdivisions in a way earlier generations have not.  When we lose our landscape, we lose something of our sense of place, our feeling of familiarity and ‘home.’

Our community in particular, and the east coast of the United States in general, have lost many beautiful old trees in recent years during storms.  A friend lost more than two dozen of her mature trees during a hurricane a few years back.  You could play softball in her front yard now, which once was like an arboretum.  We’ve lost so many trees to storms that many neighbors call in crews to simply cut those trees near their homes, before they can fall on a car or deck, or worse.

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October 14, 2015 Camellias 026

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While I understand their fears, I mourn for the lost trees.   And so we plant, and nurture as many of the volunteers as we can allow to grow.

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Crepe Myrtle growing back from its roots, and newly sprouted Beautyberry

Crepe Myrtle growing back from its roots, and newly sprouted Beautyberry

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And each autumn, we celebrate our beautiful trees.  If you have lost trees in recent years, I hope you have planted new ones to replace those you lost.

There are many beautiful choices available now.  Many of the newer trees have disease resistance, improved foliage, and other desirable qualities.  And this is the perfect time to plant new trees across much of the United States.  It is a gesture of love; a gesture of faith, and a gesture of hope for a beautiful future.

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Our newly planted Magnolia tree will look beautiful next spring.

Our newly planted Magnolia stellata tree will look beautiful next spring.

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You might enjoy visiting Christina to see her beautiful garden in the Hesperides in its October glory.  She has done quite a bit of renovation this year, and it is lovely now that her new plants have settled in.  You’ll find links to many other beautiful gardens from around the world.  We can draw ideas and inspiration from them all.

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October 23, 2015 trees 040~

Woodland Gnome 2015

 

October 23, 2015 trees 036

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

10 responses to “Bright and Beautiful

  1. Karen

    I enjoyed reading your post on trees they are really precious in these times when every scrap of land is food for the bulldozer.

  2. What an eloquent post, thank you, WG. Your trees are beautiful and it is wonderful that you are planting more; I wish I had planted more trees when I started this garden and am happy that I have now planted some that could live for a very long time indeed. Thanks for joining GBFD and my apologies for not getting here sooner.

    • No worries, Christina, and thank you for your kind words on the post. I’ve planted trees in every garden I’ve had over the years. Your re-do looks so classic and elegant and is a lovely improvement in your already special garden. I’m looking forward to your photos as it evolves.

  3. Beautiful photos and a beautiful post! You really sum up how much trees bring to the garden and I’m with you on letting them grow 🙂 We shouldn’t be so afraid of the possibility of a branch falling, if we live by those rules I shouldn’t dare drive a car or use a staircase to anywhere!

    • You are absolutely right! There is risk in life, which is a measure of it beauty. Thank you for your kind words on the post. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a great time this weekend, and get out to enjoy the fall colors. Cheers! WG

  4. A second growth forest has grown up around me during my lifetime, with many trees now reaching maturity. I marvel at their vast crowns, now in glorious color and feel in awe of their majesty. Gosh, where would we be without them?
    We planted 10 maple whips when we moved here and now they are 30′ tall – thrilling to see. Planting trees is a gift to future generations. I hope I don’t ever stop doing it!

    • Oh Eliza, what a wonderful experience to watch trees grow! That is one of the real gifts and pleasures of our age; especially when we are able to live in one garden long enough to watch the trees mature! Giant hugs, WG ❤ ❤ ❤

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