Fabulous Friday: Color!

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I look forward to September when colors take on that specialty intensity of early autumn.  They sky turns brilliantly blue and the roadsides turn golden with wild Solidago and Rudbeckia.

I planted a little extra splash of color to enjoy this month in our front perennial garden.  While the Rudbeckia were still small, last spring, I interplanted several different Salvias, some perennial mistflower and some gifted Physotegia virginiana divisions.  I wanted bright splashes of blue and violet to emerge through their golden flowers.

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We are just beginning to enjoy the show as these late summer flowers come into their own.  The Rudbeckia grew taller this summer than I remember them in years passed.

We’re still waiting to see whether all of those Salvias will muster the strength to shoulder past the Black Eyed Susans and raise their flowers to the autumn sun.  Life and gardening are always an experiment though, aren’t they?

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It is fabulous to see the sea of gold highlighted with other richly colored flowers.  Soon, the bright red pineapple sage and bright blue Mexican bush sage will burst into bloom, filling the entire garden with intense color.  September is a fabulous time of year, full of promise and energy.

May your last weekend of summer be a good one.

Our hearts are heavy from the many troubling events this summer has precipitated.  We remember those struggling with flood water and wind damage; those seeking peace and justice in the wake of this summer’s violence; those who have lost dearly loved ones; and all those who still hold the hope and promise our country offers to the world, as a living flame in their heart.

In these dark and troubling days, may your world be filled with the colors of hope.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
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“Love was a feeling completely bound up with color,
like thousands of rainbows
superimposed one on top of the other.”
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Paulo Coelho
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Fabulous Friday! 
Happiness is Contagious; let’s infect one another!
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Caladium ‘Desert Sunset’

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“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?
Can one really explain this? no.
Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
.
Pablo Picasso

 

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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.

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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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October 23, 2015 trees 028

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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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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

Dissolution

October 29, 2014 fall color 076

A messy season, fall, when you think of it. 

“Fall,” of course, refers to the countless leaves browning and blowing from every limb of every deciduous shrub and tree.

 

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The autumn winds sweep away every bit of what is tired, worn, and dying.

Of course, those same winds also pick up the downy seeds released by wildflowers.

 

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They catch the seed filled pine cones and scatter them far from the mother tree.

 

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Berries, seed pods, nuts and acorns all take flight on the wind, perhaps landing where they can thrust roots into moist and accepting soil, and grow.

 

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Like  monks sweeping away a completed Tibetan sand painting, nature has a hand in her own dissolution. 

 

October 29, 2014 fall color 056

Vibrant greens gradually fade to reveal the essential golds and purples, scarlets and orange of the forest.

Then even these colors fade to brown and take flight, leaving only the structure of things behind.

 

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Bare branches glow beneath their accumulations of lichen and moss, vines and animal nests;  scars of lost branches and broken limbs revealed.

 

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And it is still beautiful.

All of the essential parts remain. 

 

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Wind and rain, insects and worms work their magic all winter long, transforming all that has fallen to the Earth into the rich medium of life.

 

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Dissolution, cleansing, transformation.

Stillness and rest.

 

October 29, 2014 fall color 036

 

 

Making way for new growth.

 

 

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Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

October 29, 2014 fall color 067

A Walk About

The Camellia in full bloom along my driveway, setting out for a walk about the nieghborhood.

The Camellia in full bloom along our own driveway, setting out for a walk about the neighborhood.

 

Last evening was the perfect everything for a walk about the neighborhood.

When I set out in late afternoon it was  clear and sunny; not too hot or too cold.

October 25, 2014 fall color 012

All in all it was the perfect opportunity to get out and see the wider world beyond our own garden, and I had the time to enjoy it.

The roses beside our driveway have come into bloom again.

The roses beside our driveway have come into bloom again.

 

My first destination was the home of friends.  A friend and I were splitting a bag of daffodil bulbs, and I had a delivery to make.

October 25, 2014 fall color 006

From there, I made my way down the quiet streets of our neighborhood towards the pond.  Families were out walking their dogs and spending time with children.

Looking across the pond, the homes are still mostly hidden by trees.

Looking across the pond, the homes are still mostly hidden by trees.

The light faded quickly in this late October sky, and I wanted to make it to the Creek before sunset.

Down another friends’ driveway one finds the dusty pine needle covered path across an earthen dam separating our pond from the creek.

The path is heavily wooded.

The path is heavily wooded.

Trees have grown here on both sides of the path, making it harder to see through to the water.  Birds and squirrels chatter at the intrusion into their private world.  I could hear the voices of children in the distance.  The homes ringing the pond are still mostly hidden behind the trees.

October 24, 2014 walk 003

It is nice to be able to walk back here again.  Many of us avoid this path once the weather warms each spring.  There are ticks and chiggers, mosquitoes and who knows what else in the heavy underbrush.

But by autumn, it isn’t quite so hazardous.  Or perhaps with long pants, hat and a jacket it just feels like a safer path to take!

I can see streaks of pink and purple gathering in the sky over the creek as I emerge through another driveway back to the city street.  I cut across past the playground, across the deck, and down towards the dock.  Darkness gathers, and I wonder whether these photos will turn out at all.

October 24, 2014 walk 007

With no street lights, and no flashlight,  it is best not to linger by the water for long.  There is the long climb ahead on the pathway home. 

October 24, 2014 walk 009

Turning my back to the sunset, I head out across the open field and into the shadows of the tree lined street.  Nothing I’m wearing is light or reflective.  It is way too dark here for photos, so my camera goes back into the relative safety of my jacket pocket.

It is a long steep climb.  The exercise feels good, and it reminds me to make this hike a bit more often.

October 24, 2014 walk 008

And not a single car passes on this leg of the journey.  No children’s voices sing out, no dogs bark, and no other walkers call greetings.

An occasional lighted window gives the only evidence of neighbors at home along the way.  Most are probably out for dinner on this Friday evening.

The glow of lamplight greets me as I near my own driveway once again.  My partner has turned on every outside light to greet me.

But even that pales in comparison to the sky, which has turned a fiery orangey pink in the space of only a few minutes.  I can see it again now, above my neighbor’s roof line as I turn towards home.  What beauty!

In another few weeks, once the leaves have fallen, the sky will open up to us once again at sunset.  For now we peek between the trees and above the neighbors’ roofs, basking in the reflected glow of it in the garden.

And I’m basking in the peace of it all.

I made it back home before dark settled completely across the community, knowing this should become a part of my routine during these gorgeous autumn days.

 

Robin challenged those of us who follow her blog to take a walk and post about it. 

This challenge is called “Walktober.”  Robin will gather up all of these posts, and publish links, so we can go along with one another to the interesting and beautiful places we have all visited. 

I hope you will follow the link back to Robin’s “Breezes at Dawn” blog to join her for her walk on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Shortly, I’ll publish a link back to all of the “Walktober” posts so you can come along, too.

 

October 25, 2014 fall color 013

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

Walktober  by Eliza Waters

 

Wonderful Walktober Walks by Robin, Breezes at Dawn

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