FOR LOVE OF A GARDEN: Autumn Leaf Color Even in Summer

 “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of
strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something
infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature— the assurance
that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

Rachel Carson

Dan replanted this minature lace leaf Japanese Maple the second Spring after we moved to Toad Hollow because it wasn’t in a good location.  Now it’s size and color contrast with the enormity of the Douglas Firs, Cedars and Alders that grow here naturally.  We love that contrast found in the Fall, its bright, clear red against the deep greens of the needles, the grey brown of bark and the brighter greens of the moss.  That color contrast is our inspiration for many of the plants we continue adding in recent years to the garden.

Tiny lace leaf red maple

Just yesterday, I helped Dan, a little, to plant one of these Emperor 1 Japanese Maple trees in the front bed with the enormous, shiny leafed Rhododendrons.  Emperor 1 turns bright red in the Fall and will stand out against the brown shingles of our house.

Emperor 1 Red Maple

We live on a corner lot.  The mailboxes for our neighbors are congregated in front.  The trash and recycling bins are collected just around the corner of our lot from those mailboxes, also in front of our house.  This is what we see from our front window on Tuesday night through Wednesday when the trash is collected.  So we need screening.  Already we have a beautiful lilac and Forsythia that we planted there the first year.  They were bareroot plants and it took them some time to get some size.

As I get older I don’t think I have so many years to wait for things to grow.  I have moved on to 1 gallon to 5 gallon potted shrubs in hopes of seeing a beautiful multi-colored screen of plants such as this Golden Ninebark, which will grow to be about 8 to 12 feet high eventually.  Love the color!

Golden Ninebark

We also planted a Diabolo Ninebark, and a Black Lace Elderberry as well, an example is shown second below.  When I buy plants in pots I still need to research their eventual size and I search the internet for pictures so that I can imagine how it will work out in the future.  The pictures I am posting here are all but the very first, examples from my research.

Diabolo Ninebark

This is the type of Black Lace Elderberry we planted along with the two Ninebarks.  I am hoping it’s branches will arch out over the others gracefully.

Black Lace Elderberry

The first year we were here I planted two of these Sutherland’s Gold Elderberry in a fairly shady area of the garden and we planted Rhododendron and Azalea beneath them.  The color is a standout, especially in the low early evening sun.  I added two somewhat shorter Black Beauty Elderberry just adjacent to those a couple of years later.  These provide both a backdrop to the garden and some colorful, taller structure.

Sutherland's Gold Elderberry

Black Beauty Elderberry

 The type of Ninebark below is called Coppertina. She is progressing very well near a Karmijn de Sonneville Apple and an Australlian Pear tree since we planted her last year.

Coppertina NinebarkIn the perennial garden I added Euphorbia and Spurge, which are really from the same family and are often noted for their crazy neon green flowers.  This low growing, ferny leafed variety really appealed to me.  I also got another variety that has striped leaves, red, yellow & green, with similar neon green flowers.  Nice addition to the garden for being a bit unexpected. The various Rudbeckia will look wonderful alongside these.

Spurge or EuphorbiaIrish Eyes, My Favorite!

   Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia Goldstrum   “If you have a mind at peace, and a heart that cannot harden,

Go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.”

Author Unknown

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