Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sea of Clouds

We awoke this morning to view these islands in a sea of clouds and 30 degrees being warmed by the color in the distant sky. Frost blanketed the ground and as I looked out into the garden, thoughts ranged from 'It is so intriguing how the foliage has been stripped from the tree branches of some while a few are only now beginning to transform into color (like the weeping cherry) and others hang on for a final act' to 'It shall be a good day in the garden'.

Our friends Aaron and Joan arrived this morning to pick up a few divisions from our ferns and Japanese bloodgrass (Imperata cylindrica) for their landscaping. What a relaxing and enjoyable time sharing plants, looking at the wine room we are building, picking apples for them to take, discussing our upcoming trips and holidays, having a bite of lunch... and they were on their way home for a little planting and an afternoon of football. These times of friendship and the enjoyment of such are so essential.

So it was back to work, planting a few of the divided ferns, cutting back and continuing some garden bed cleanup, listening to the turkeys yelping in the distance, and being grateful for these simple pleasures on this amazing day.

By now our Ginkgo biloba is normally in its full golden glory, but seems to be taking its time and delaying the action this year. If you happen to have one then you are aware of this specimen's splendor, not just that it is an ancient tree, the oldest living tree species, but that it orchestrates its closing moments.

All of the fan-shaped leaves are not only spun into yellow treasures of tonic, but remarkably, as a few leaves begin to release, a finale occurs, a yielding crescendo as each follows suit and all descend to its pedestal... a final bow... 'That's all for now... sure hope you enjoyed the performance'.

Before I depart this wonderland of hues for the day, I must capture these shades of burnt orange and umbers.

This most beautiful and intriguing deciduous Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) will lose all its needles shortly and expose a remarkable textured bark for winter's pleasure, and although the leaves of the Red Oak (Quercus rubra) will remain largely intact, the richness of color will soon be shed. Of course that blue of the conifer Arizona cypress 'Blue Ice' (Cupressus arizonica glabra) stays the same, regardless.

This beautiful fall day has kept me working in the garden longer than I should have been for I may have difficulty ambling adequately tomorrow, but one last stroll around. Temperature in the 50's, a clear blue sky and foliage which dances and sparkles in the late afternoon sunlight.

Another photo before I head in. The backlight of this Japanese maple, Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' stops me in my tracks as I admire the contrast, the depth and power of light against dark... I am reminded of having placed it there when it was a spindly two foot tall bargain and have felt the pleasure all these years in watching it develop and am thankful for what it has offered.