Fall Is In The BagMonday, October 31, 2011
So much about fall, the season, revolves around the transitive verb to fall and its repercussions, the stuff that drops to the ground. It is about the esthetic one, of the action of the leaves of deciduous trees turning from green (or light green/yellow) to the marvelous earth colours of brown, red, yellow and ochre and finally dropping to the ground.
For many years fall was the drudgery of having to rake the leaves from the weeping willows (Betula pendula) of our boulevard. Then there was the bagging. The bagging ceased until we figured out that the “black gold” compost that we purchased every year from VanDusen came from the very leaves we bagged. We need not bag them. All we had to do was put them in piles on the corner and the city would eventually dispatch sweeping trucks to pick it all up and dump it in a place that will in time bring money to the city coffers and help our plants grow in the coming spring.
When the birches on our boulevard all died (but one) of the birch borer we had found out that our lawnmower, with the bag attached, would sweep up, effortlessly all the leaves. This is a particular important job now as the huge Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) on our property sheds many of its needles about now (so much for evergreen trees!). These needles are extremely acid and they prevent lawns from growing well. The same situation applies to the needles that fall in our flower beds. We have to pick it all up by hand. At least the mower does an efficient job of sucking it up on the lawn and boulevard.
We have quite a few trees in our property that have brilliant fall colour. I think that the nicest is our Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’ ).
But not all the beauty of fall is up there in the trees before it all falls. My hostas have beautiful colour. The blue hostas lose their blueness and become golden. Some of the leaves have huge holes (I let the slugs have their feast now. I will get back at them come spring). Some crinkle up and soon decay and disappear into the ground with the fall rains.
I have picked three hosta leaves for today’s picture. One, Hosta ‘Bressingham Blue’ is huge. The other almost intact one is the sexy Hosta ‘Strip Tease’. The crinkled one has, for me a name that evokes an ancient Roman emperor who in my imagination got as far as Japan in conquest, Hosta ‘Tokudama Flavocircinalis’.
And then there is the surprise of two roses, the English Rose, Rosa ‘Crocus Rose’ and Rosa ‘All That Jazz’ (red) that have brought some unusual colour to the garden, so late in the season, as they wave me a fond farewell until next spring.