Sunday
Dec112016

Autumn's Parting Gift

Autumn gave us a parting gift after another inch or two of rain and temperatures that plummeted into the frigid range. Wearing my warmest coat, I walked outside and then stopped in my tracks when I saw a blanket of colorful Japanese maple leaves on the path in the front garden.

I would have noticed a few lovely fallen leaves, but this EXUBERANCE took my breath away. 

Forget for a moment that someone is going to have to rake not only the paths but also the shrubs. (That would be Lou. I think raking has become his favorite pastime, and I praise the great job he is doing.)

The sheer mass of red leaves makes me remember another path - one covered in cherry blossoms. I think of great swaths of daffodils, a desert carpeted in wildflowers, a trail edged with clouds of blue woodland phlox, an orchard of row upon row of olive trees: all sights that stay with me because of the magnitude of their elements. 

Nature reminds me that beautiful gardens are not timid. They don't have to be big, but they must have commitment. OK, a hundred garish gnomes are not for me, but surely they would make a child smile! And that is more than some gardens accomplish. 

Sunday
Dec042016

Sweet Rain!

The storms arrived with thunder and wind and brief power outages, but I was not complaining. This past week we had over 2.5 inches of rain, and more is predicted. The drought is not officially over, and we have a lot of making-up to do; but our weather is moving toward its normal wet winter pattern. After a couple of days of soaking rain, I ventured outside.

The weather was still very breezy, and Lou was standing with his rake as leaves swirled around him. He had been clearing paths and was attempting to rake the lawn. I laughed.

"Isn't that like trying to hold back the ocean waves?"

"No, it's easy. See, all I have to do is put out the sack, and the leaves fall into it!"

I left Lou raking, and I wandered through the gardens with my camera.These are views of the woods next to the lower front lawn, near the entry to our property.The vibrant colors of the foliage remaining on the trees stunned me.I thought the drought would rob autumn of its glory this year, but the arrival of rain and cooler air intensified the red and golden hues.

Looking into arbor garden through the iron arch

Looking toward the woods from inside the arbor garden

'Feelin' Blue' Deodar Cedar grows at the edge of the woodland garden. Its gorgeous blue foliage complements the fall colors of deciduous plants.

This Japanese maple in the woodland garden is 'Orangeola.'

I will bring the folding iron chairs in the woodland sitting area inside for the winter. I used the matching magazine holder for potted plants. It is coming inside, too.

Since I shot these images, the colors have faded and multitudes of leaves have come to earth. More work for Lou! Freezing temperatures are on the way, and I am listening to rain as I write this. (It would be hilarious if our drought officially ended with snow!) Yesterday I was outside putting up Christmas lights. I am content.