Friday, October 28, 2011

Glowing, blazing, burning

The spindle tree, Euonymus alata, in my frontyard; I love how the colours shift from the brightest crimson to the deepest burgundy in one single plant.

While photographing for an article about Araucarias in the Washington Park Arboretum, I was stunned by the amazing fall foliage this year. It is probably the most blazing show I've ever seen here; usually, the Pacific Northwest does not get the bright colours so typical for the Northeastern States or Northern Europe. Afterwards, I continued my photo session in my own garden, trying to make the most of the day before the next rainburst. As a result, here is a selection of my favorites for autumn blaze in the garden. Click on the photos for larger pictures - just don't burn your eyes...
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Witch-hazels, members of the Hamamelis family, are one of my favorite shrubs, not only for their delicately scented winter flowers, but also for their glowing fall colour.
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Stewartias, here S. monadelpha, really do have it all: wonderful bark, beautiful flowers, elegant form, and then good autumn colour - they are an excellent choice for just about any garden... 

Fothergillas are closely related to Hamamelis. Their leaves are quite similar, but they get a more mottled autumn colour, like a patchwork containing all alternatives on the warm spectrum, from yellows to dark maroon tones.
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This is one eye-burning plant: the sourwood tree, Oxydendron arboreum. It is one of my new favorites here even if I don't normally love anything so extremely red. But this tree blooms with sprays of lily-of-the-valley -like flowers from July to August and ends the season with a blazing show that definitely brightens up gloomy autumn days. Very dramatic. 

Of course, no autumn colour show would be complete without maple leaves... here some Japanese ones from the Arboretum. I love the gradation from intensely red to green and then to soft, burnt orange, all in the same branch.

My weeping Japanese maple, Acer palmatum dissectum atropurpureum, changes from burgundy via green to toffee before it drops its leaves. With its drooping habit, it looks like a hairy mammoth in the end of the season... 
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And a final picture from my backyard. A dark purple smoke bush to the left, then some blazing spindle trees and a brownish Stewartia that already show their autumn colour; the witch-hazels to the right still are completely green, but will soon turn lemony yellow. To the right from here, there is a star magnolia and a large cherry tree that were unfortunately cut out from the picture.

1 comment:

Hällan said...

ÅÅÅ, vilka härliga bilder och färger!
Här blev det inte några riktigt varma färger, antagligen p.g.a.allt regn vi fick och fortfarande får.
Trevlig Helg!