Friday, October 31, 2014

Scudding Clouds

It's been in the 50s and low 60s, still and nice enough. The skies have been sunny, then scudding dark clouds move in, and a little rain spits, and then it clears up again. Then heavy clouds roll back in.

This has been one of the best fall color displays in years, whether in full sun or under blackening skies.

Both of the stewartias are amazing this year. The little Stewartia monadelpha is complemented by pink Sheffield mums in the gravel garden, and the Stewartia pseudocamellia by the front door shines.

Bottlebrush buckeyes, Aesculus parviflora, have formed a big hedge finally, and the whole line of them has turned bright yellow. Their big floppy leaves and bright color give them a wild look.

Most black gums, Nyssa sylvatica, turn scarlet or wine colored, and the ones I have in the back of the house certainly do, but the one in front always turns more orange.

This is the first year I have noticed any fall color on the linden in the cul de sac. It's a soft yellow, very nice. And all of a sudden this planting of two white pines and a linden, installed by the builder in 2006, has become a lovely grouping.

Here is what it looked like the first summer it was planted, and of course the white pines that flank the skinny linden were just little blobs then. The poor linden was volcano-mulched.

I love how well formed the linden has become. It is a really beautiful tree now, despite a severe case of antler rub on the trunk one year, breakage from an early snowstorm a few years ago, and living inside a mulch pyramid (I removed as much as I could by hand over the years.)

Fragrant sumac, Rhus aromatica Gro Low, is a river of red. It runs down the edge of the driveway, and I repeated a couple clumps under two of the birch trees just beyond.

It all looks so great this year, The whole yard, all my gardens, the hills beyond, all of it shining under black clouds and broken sunshine. I don't even know where to point the camera.

I'll stop now. There are more colors, more sights, and beautiful autumn light at this time of year. But I'm getting overwhelmed!

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