The colourful foliage this time of year is hard to beat, one of the reasons fall is the favourite season for many. The burning bush in my neighbour’s garden is absolutely gorgeous this year.
Temperature, moisture levels and the amount of sunlight dictate just how colourful the foliage becomes. Apparently the vivid colours on the deciduous trees and my neighbour’s burning bush can be attributed to the wet growing season we had as well as the cool nights and warm days this fall. The scientific explanation involves fancy words like:
xanthophyll (yellow pigment)
carotenoids (orange pigment)
anthocyanins (red and purple pigment formed by sugar trapped in the leaves)
chlorophyll (green colour)
abscission layer (when nights get cooler, this layer forms blocking chlorophyll from entering the leaves, so other colours are visible)
Also (still) looking good are some of the containers I planted this season. We have had a few frosty nights, but nothing severe enough to slow these beauties down:
solar powered butterfly
As long as this nice weather continues I just may get all my gardens put to bed this week!
Rainy days are good for a garden makeover, except for the mess that is inevitable. Today was such a day. Gardens4u got this project going early this morning before the rain started, but a drizzle started a few hours in, followed by a torrential downpour. Downpours to me mean lunch time, sitting in my van. Luckily, the rain subsided enough for me to continue until the job was complete. Well, except for the cleanup. Trying to sweep up my mess on the wet stone was not very effective. Nothing a hose down won’t fix though, a job I left for the homeowner when the rain stopped, long after I left.
These are the “before” pictures. The tree is a dead maple that was removed with the stump ground down before I started the makeover…
The burning bush (far right in second pic), lilac (center in first pic) and hydrangea (right corner in first pic) were salvaged, with the lilac getting a good pruning to whip it into shape. Everything else was removed. New shrubs and perennials were strategically planted and composted manure, my new favourite soil amendment, was added.
Here are the “after” pictures…
New plantings in this garden makeover include a pink magnolia (center of bed), a “Wine & Roses” weigela, several ornamental grasses, coneflowers, pink and purple sages and lavender, as well as several varieties of sedum and stonecrop to spill over the edges of this sunny garden. Once the new plants are established and well watered, I will add mulch to complete the job.
A second bed, between the sidewalk and the garage, is next up on my garden makeover list. Stay tuned for more before and after pictures.