Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Colors

My backyard jungle in November before the early freeze

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! What am I grateful for on this day? Among many blessings, I am enjoying seasonal color without leaving town.

We don't normally have a whole lot of autumn leaf color where I live. Most often the leaves drop without changing to mango, topaz,  ginger, or garnet. This year is different. Leaves have remained on trees a bit longer than usual, I think, and an early freeze last week seems to have coaxed startling pigment from some of them.

In addition to the effect of climate change, there is another reason for the increase in fall color in the Lowcountry. A couple of years ago the Town constructed medians on Highway 17, landscaping both the medians and the verges, on each side of the road, with an attractive palette of plants. And in my own yard, I now take into account the potential for gorgeous autumn foliage when I select new shrubs and trees to plant. Several months ago I purchased a coral bark Japanese maple with color in mind.

Coral bark Japanese maple
Coral bark Japanese maple before the freeze
Coral bark Japanese maple
Coral bark Japanese maple after the freeze
The leaves on this "Desert Gold" peach tree have dropped now
A hosta coordinates foliage color with Japanese maples 
Oakleaf hydrangea
Oakleaf hydrangea (see last month's post for comparison)
Japanese maple
Lace-leaf Japanese maple "Viridis" surrounded by a partridge berry ground cover
Leaf shapes in a public space