Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wave Goodbye

We've had some nights below freezing lately, and the plants right at the foot of the hill behind us have been affected as the cold air sinks just a few feet and collects at the bottom.

The oak trees out there suddenly turned completely brown, although they always hold on to their leaves.

Other plants away from the foot of the hill were not affected. It always intrigues me how the colder, denser air sinks and the effect is so visible at the bottom of even the smallest slope.

It's been cold but we haven't really had a hard frost. And that has contributed to a long and glorious fall this year.

Even the tender nasturtiums are still going strong in their protected spot under the inkberry hollies.

They're even still blooming and catching the sun's rays on cool afternoons.

But despite the lingering fall, it's getting time to say goodbye to the growing season.

This is the time of year I actually like the miscanthus grass by the garage door. Its flowers look like they are waving goodbye. Both of the fothergillas along the walk are bright red now.

The river birches have lost their leaves but the white paper birches are glowing yellow. Ever since we started treating them with a fungicide each summer, they have held on to their leaves long enough to make a lovely show in fall. I hate having to do that, but they were completely defoliating in August previously. Now they look wonderful, well into November. I'm conflicted.

The bark is their best feature, but having green leaves still on the tree in September, and glowing color in November makes the three paper birches a lovely and healthy looking part of the whole garden. So we spray.

The dapper little star magnolia has fall color this year, and it is gold tipped with caramel. That's nice.

Despite the wind taking down so many leaves and baring branches all over, I am surprised each time I round the corner of the walk and see how full and sparkling red the stewartia monadelpha still is.

The black gums have all lost their leaves now -- except for the newest one planted by the mailbox. This little tupelo is the only one still holding on to its leaves.

So many trees are bare now and nights are cold, but there are still beautiful, colorful, leafy things to be seen. It's still a lovely fall.

But as I watch the grasses wave goodbye to the season, I know it won't be long now.

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