"Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a great deal to love a leaf. It's ordinary to love the beautiful, but it's beautiful to love the ordinary." - Unknown
I came across this quote, and it expressed what is close to my heart. If one can love the common things, life will be full of riches; and to see the beauty in a leaf is to be open to the magnificence of the Creation.
The most amazing thing happened this past week. September 23 was the first official day of autumn, and when I opened the door that morning, autumn had arrived! When does the weather ever follow the calendar around here? September 22 was hot and humid and still decidedly summer, but a storm that night blew summer away and deposited autumn in its place. I walk around in a reverie, breathing in the fresh air and watching leaves turn before my eyes.
Dogwoods (Cornus florida) are among the first trees to start turning:
Alabama croton is a rare native plant with very interesting leaves:
Hydrangea ''Lady in Red' is noted for its red stems and lovely flowers, but it also has striking fall foliage:
Acuba japonica 'Variegata' adds spots of color to shady places:
Pieris japonica 'Cavantine' is putting on a pretty flush of new growth:
I love just about all variegated plants, including this variegated holly fern:
Another plant with wonderful variegated leaves is Hydrangea macrophylla 'Variegata':Years ago I planted a rhododendron in the woodland garden. I admire the large deep green leaves and like the shrub's structural presence, so I was not terribly disappointed when it did not bloom. But, look! This year it is producing buds! I guess it just needed time to grow up. I long ago forgot what color the flowers should be. I look forward to a spring surprise:
Euonymus americanus, otherwise called American Strawberry Bush and (my favorite) Hearts-a-bustin, has lovely fall foliage that becomes translucent white, washed with tints of gold and pink. Its fruit in this image is not quite ripe:
Tamopan persimmons have not yet ripened to deep orange, but the tree's large leaves are quite remarkable, especially as they being to turn.
I love individual leaves, and I also love how myriads of leaves blend together to create tapestries like the following views of the front garden:
With all these leaves, my life is truly rich. But just wait till they all start falling. We will be knee deep in treasure!