Moments of gardening ecstasy

The morning had begun like many other autumn mornings in the Pacific Northwest, with the sound of a heavy shower pounding the roof as I laid in my warm bed, with no real desire to climb out and begin my day. Before long, I noticed that the deep pounding tones, like thousands of soft-tipped drumsticks being played on my roof with no discernible rhythm, had come to an abrupt end. “That’s my cue” I thought to myself and finally forced myself to start the day.

Upon opening the curtains to assess the damage of the heavy wind and rainstorm, and much to my surprise, I witnessed not a debris strewn garden, but instead, the very beginnings of a beautiful sunrise. Admittedly, this was not one of those magnificent sunrises which paint the sky in glorious swirls of brightly colored orange, gold, red, pink and purple clouds. No, not at all. But, it was the sun revealing itself here and there through the clouds that were beginning to dissipate after dumping the last of this storm’s autumn rain.

Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Globe'
Thuja occidentalis ‘Golden Globe’ glows in autumn’s early morning light.

I looked out across the garden to thousands of tiny, shining droplets of water clinging to the foliage of every plant, which caused the entire garden to sparkle as the emerging rays of sunlight glistened off of these miniature shimmering orbs. I stood in somewhat of a state of awe as I witnessed more of the clouds evaporating away and the sun becoming prominent in its low position in the sky. It had risen just enough to begin to cast light on some of my conifers, lighting them up one by one as it moved slowly higher and steadily toward the south.

One plant stood out more brightly than all the others, and honestly it took me a little by surprise. My Thuja occidentalis ‘Golden Globe’ was suddenly standing in a spotlight of the early morning rays of the sun. It was spectacular! Much of the garden all around this golden-colored, globe shaped, hardy American Arborvitae remained in shade which accentuated the effect of the light on this small tree.

‘Golden Globe’ is not the brightest yellow in the pallet of conifer colors, but generally more of a subtle statement. Its yellow color is best when growing in full sun and does intensify through the growing season. As winter arrives, its yellow color becomes more golden as the foliage begins to include a hint of bronze during the coldest months. As spring brings new life and warmer temperatures, new growth begins to emerge and the whole plant brightens. A hardy, small, rounded conifer, ‘Golden Globe’ can be used as a single specimen, part of a wide border, or, since it responds well to shearing, it could be grown in containers on either side of a walkway in a formal garden.

Just about the time that the sun was climbing high enough to cast light upon more of my garden, the next wave of clouds blew in, filled the sky while hiding the sun, and it was not long before our familiar autumn showers returned. Sometimes, all it takes is a few moments of gardening ecstasy to turn what may have otherwise been a dreary day, into one filled with joy!

Conifer Lover

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