Seasonal: Mostly Leaves!


[Trio of Fungi-photo by Robert Miller]

Okay...I said mostly! I had to put that photo on top because I absolutely LOVE it! (That's because I didn't take it ... my second son, Robert, did.) When there is something really interesting to photograph, I try my hardest to drag him by the arm and put a camera in his hand, because he has such a better eye than I do and usually takes a really nice picture. Having an artist in the family has its occasional perks. :-) I don't know what particular type of fungus this is...probably some sort of mushroom...and I don't know if it's edible and don't intend to find out. Something crawly certainly nibbled a few spots on some of these, but I didn't look around for little corpses! These things were only up for a few days and POOF!...gone. The fungi I pictured earlier in the month (a large cluster of brown ones with fluted upturned edges) persisted for almost a month before going down. This picture would be even better with polka-dots and a cute little frog resting underneath.

Onward to leaves! ....mostly...

[Fungi Colony]


This is what greeted me when I wheeled around last week from looking at plants in the front yard. I was in shock...WHERE did these things come from and why haven't I noticed them in years past? They couldn't have gotten this numerous in one season! After seeing how they vanished about two or three days after these pictures were taken, I understand! Robert took this photo also. Notice all the little members of this troupe in the background (there were more that you can't see here)...they are so appealing!



The Japanese Maple/Acer palmatum near the front corner of the house becomes a glorious color this time of year. It makes up for the fact that it is fairly plain (although graceful) for the bulk of the season and doesn't have colored or variegated leaves like some of its siblings in the A. palmatum family. Notice the air space underneath. It used to be filled with the foliage of Rhododendron 'Hurricane.' Said rhody is coming along nicely after being severely whacked in June, but the rhody next to it only has one shoot of new growth. The story will be told by next spring.


[Japanese Maple Tree - October 98]


[Japanese Maple Leaves...on fire!]

Wow...I could look at this for hours, but they don't last all that long. This is what you see when you look up underneath the Acer palmatum in the fall. Get the fire extinguisher!

On my walk back from the mailbox, I saw these Apricot leaves catching back light. They almost look like they are floating on water, but that is actually shaded grass in the background.



[Apricot Leaves with back light]


[Cornus florida rubra leaves - October 98']


The Flowering Dogwood near the front porch becomes beautiful by late October and decorates our front walk with colorful confetti (nice for Halloween). The tree in the background is the Oak behind the carport.



Here are some of our sidewalk decorations this time of year. I think they are so pretty that I just sweep a path through them to the front steps. In a week or two and after more rain, they will cease to be beautiful and be removed to the compost pile.


[Fallen Dogwood Leaves]

[Oak Bed with Enkianthus - Oct '98]

You're probably getting sick of this view, but it changes throughout the year. I really must eventually show this place on one page in it various phases...maybe during this next year. The red bush underneath the oak tree is the Enkianthus campanulatus. It is set on fire in the late fall. This year it has not been as colorful as in some seasons past, but it is still beautiful. I think it would have benefited from colder temperatures. It's been quite warm this October with some days being in the 60's and even 70 degrees!


Here's a close-up of the whorled leaves on the Enkianthus. I love the blend of hot red and murky wine's very rich.



[Enkianthus leaves - October '98]


[Oak Leaves against Blue Sky]

Here's some real contrast and texture for you! This was the Red Oak while it was at the halfway stage. I think this would be an interesting photo to "emboss" in Photoshop...but I didn't get very good results. It will need to be scanned in a higher resolution to do this effect.


I wish this hadn't been so shaded, but I still liked the effect, so put it in. It is a Vine Maple/Acer circinatum...a Pacific Northwest native plant. Mine is not as happy as it could be because of its exposure and the sandy soil, but I still like it. They are really beautiful when they turn color on the mountain passes between Eastern and Western Washington (Chinook Pass is a good example...think White Pass is good also).



[Vine Maple Silhouette]


[Saffron Crocus and Viburnum leaves]

It was purely an accident that I saw these before they went over. They are Saffron Crocus and their time of bloom is very fleeting. I think these would have been prettier a day or two before I saw them, but I'm grateful to have finally captured them on film! The bright red-orange stamens are really picked up by the fallen leaves from the Highbush Cranberry/Viburnum.


Can you stand another sunset? This is certainly a mood picture...I love the murky haziness and softness of color. I believe Robert took this photo... I was busy with dinner preparations and talked him into running for the camera.



[Murky October Sunset over Olympic Mountains]


[Fallen Norway Maple Leaves in Pasture]

Here's a more muted theme but beautiful. This was taken from under the Norway Maple that grows near the front entrance to the barn. You can see all the various phases of leaf color from one tree. (Catriona...think you'll like this one.)



[Barn with Gold Trimmings - October '98]

I finally got a decent shot of the barn and the leaf colors with the sun doing the right stuff to make it happen! the Norway Maple is to the left and the huge tree to the right of the barn was a hybrid poplar of a shade tree type (forgot the name). It's recently occurred to me that it has gotten quite HUGE! Thought it would never get big enough. The row of trees in the background are 'Kingston' Poplars and they turned out to be cottonwoods with a fancy name. We haven't had seedlings coming up, but the fuzz "float" during the summer wreaks havoc with the sinuses of several loved ones! Wouldn't this shot look better without the ugly van? I guess the blue color is a nice contrast...but I'm hoping this is not part of next year's pictures! :-(

[Johnny Jump-Ups with Lamb's Ear]

Johnny Jump-Ups love the cooler weather of fall and this plant is taking advantage of a little more time to bloom before frosts. It grew this summer in the Rose Frontal bed near the reset Lamb's Ears (Stachys)...this was the reworked area.



[Verbascum chaixii with Artemisia 'Powis Castle']

Another plant that established enough over summer to think of blooming in the Autumn. This Verbascum chaixii is a great performer (although subtle in its charms) but is becoming a bit too common for me. Earlier deadheading would take care of the unwanted seedlings problem! The lovely gray cut leaves belong to Artemisia 'Powis Castle.'


[Sedum 'Autumn Joy' in November]


Another look at Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and the color it has taken on since the summer. These heads will hold all winter after the leaves have dropped but they will be a darker brown by the time they get frosted a few times. The berries dangling in the background are fruits formed on the Fuchsia 'Santa Claus.'



This is a very popular aster with the florist trade and is a late bloomer in the garden. The variety name is 'Monte Casino.' Each year I wonder if it will have time to bloom, but it always does. Doesn't this make you want to run for your surfboard? (Actually, you would never find me with one!)



[Aster 'Monte Casino']


[Aster 'Monte' Casino' Blossoms with Penstemon 'Garnet' florets]

A nice tangle of Aster 'Monte Casino' with florets from the Penstemon 'Garnet.' If I were trying to surf this wave, that would be me in the aftermath...HELP!

Goofy is contemplating something of import in the front yard. The Japanese Dwarf Laceleaf Maple is really stunning in November! This poor dear has no back since it never got much sun with those big rhododendrons growing behind (they got whacked this summer). I hope it fills out a little during the next two seasons before the Rhododendron 'Hurricane' regains its stature.



[Goofy with Laceleaf Maple November 98]


[Laceleaf Maple with Japanese Maple Leaves]

A veritable BONFIRE of Maple leaves!


Goofy seems to love to be in the picures, so here he is again, under the Japanese Maple. We'll be seeing more of him on page two (he really gets around!).



[Goofy with Japanese Maple Leaves]


[Cyclamen hederifolium with Japanese Maple Leaves]

In the bed behind where Goofy was sitting are these hardy Cyclamen hederifolium. They send out their new foliage in the fall. Aren't those leaves gorgeous...especially with the Maple leaves scattered around? I'll have to rescue them before long because the Maple leaves will rot and become a problem. This variety of cyclamen blooms before the leaves come out, usually at the end of August and into September. The species tends to be pink, while these particular ones have white flowers.

For more leaves, mostly ... Continue to Page 2:

This page last updated on November 14, 1998.
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