Giving Thanks

As I sit in the warm sunshine beaming in through my window, I am marveling at the length of this year’s autumn color display. Even as the Japanese maples and other companion plants come to the end of the season with their last gasps of great color, my conifers stand firm to fill the landscape this winter.

One of the last of my maples to put on its color, Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira,’ is looking fantastic right now with the morning sun highlighting its orange leaves. Other companion plants that are particularly bright right now, even just days before they shed the last remnants of leaves are, Berberis thunbergii ‘Concorde,’ and ‘Rosy Glow.’ Both of these plants add great color to my conifer garden in spring and summer and with their last shout of color in the fall.

Autumn color of Acer palmatum Shishigashira
Autumn color of Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira'

It is an incredible joy to watch the garden’s appearance change so dramatically as the deciduous plants shed their leaves and open up vistas of the garden giving it a totally different look this time of year. Thankfully, the conifers are still there in all of their colorful and textural glory. It’s so fun to see the various shapes from low, flat ground covers to the globe shaped mounds and pyramidal forms all in blue, green and gold through and amongst the silhouettes of assorted deciduous trees and shrubs.

I am so thankful my small garden provides a healthy habitat for the wild critters and a peaceful place for me to reflect on the many wonders of life in general. I hope that you all have time consider all that you have to be thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Conifer Lover

King of the Garden

Here it is, the middle of November and most of the deciduous trees have presented their glorious display and shed most if not all their leaves. Just a few weeks ago, the garden was glowing with bright golden yellows and intense reds, most everything had begun its autumn show – everything except the stately Lion’s Head maple (Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’). Even just a week ago I was watching for any hint of color change as other tree’s colorful leaves blew by and swirled around me in the autumn breeze. This “King of the Garden” was waiting to present himself when there would be much less competition from other plants.

Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira'

Sitting near the pond this past weekend, as I enjoyed the crisp autumn air, I was mesmerized by the color orange. The King had finally begun to put on his show. The deciduous trees delight us with many colors in the garden all year long, but we don’t see orange until the fall.

Autumn Color

Perhaps it is the contrast with the blues, greens and golds of our autumn conifers that give the orange of ‘Shishigashira’ it’s allure. Whatever it is, it is just a week or two out of 52 – and less if we have a good wind and rain storm. Its fleeting nature makes me think of other precious things in life and how I need to appreciate and acknowledge them a little more.

How many more weeks of clinging leaves and beautiful colors do we have? Not many here in the Pacific Northwest. Thanksgiving is just a week away – how appropriate.

Conifer Lover

I’m thankful for my friends at Iseli Nursery for providing the great photo links!