Every season has its attractions to a photographer, but fall usually is one of our favorites. The reds, golds and yellows displayed in nature attest to the creative side of God for our pleasure. Many of you live in absolutely stunning areas where fall color is rampant and even the travel industry thrives catering to the "leaf peepers".
And a lot of us live in a more subdued environment where we are tickled when we can plant a variety that gives us an additional season of enjoyment.
Here are a few of the items we grow that provides the color palette we like to enjoy:
Reds & Oranges
My neighborhood has a lot of Chinese Pistache - both the seedling (with seeds) and the seedless Keith Davies. Here are some shots from last Saturday's walk around the block.
Seedling Chinese Pistache - Great Oranges and Reds - but colors will vary since each tree came from seed.
Look close and you can see the red seeds among the foliage. Pretty but slippery on the cement sidewalks which is why I like the Keith Davies.
Most people only think of the orange-red fruit of the persimmons which ripen in the fall and provide their own fall ornamental value along with good eating.
Many persimmons also have colorful fall foliage:
Forest Pansy Redbud
This November photo shows the new growth still vibrantly red. Older foliage is turning a non-spectacular yellow.
Trident Maple (Acer buergeranum) Our environment, like many of yours, is not conducive to successfully growing many of the great maples seen in the acidic soils of the east. I like the Trident Maple because it is a tough tree that handles our slightly alkaline soils and high summer temperatures. It provides good fall color as well.
Seed bed full of Trident Maple (Acer buergeranum) seedlings showing red fall color.
Autumn Fantasy Maple
Golds & Yellows
European White Birch
There are several plantings of Clump European White Birth (Betula pendula alba) in my neighborhood which provide attractive golden fall color.
Golden Desert Ash
All summer long the Golden Desert Ash has a nice golden color which is especially showy against a green backdrop. In the fall, the golds turn even more golden.
Basically all the Populus family has attractive golden-yellow fall colors and there is not enough room to show them all here. I want to feature the Silver Leafed Poplars that have attractive green/silver summer foliage that turns into a stunning golden show in the fall.
Autumn Purple Ash
(Ignore the shape - this is a tree we butcher yearly to get budwood - use your imagination)
Autumn Purple Ash has attractive fall colors in the burgundy-purple ranges. This tree is an excellent shade tree in the summer and should have wider use.
And this was a brief photo walk around the block and a brief stop in the budwood orchard. What colors do you want to add to your landscape to enjoy for many years to come?
Ron Ludekens 11-20-2010
Today I was again dumbfounded by a hidden gem of a nursery, far from the normal flow of traffic.
Singing Tree Gardens was supposed to be closed today but I thought I would drive by to take a look anyway. Fortunately, the gate was open waiting for a service company and I drove in. Otherwise I could not see the nursery from the road because of a long, winding driveway.
I am thankful that Don did not throw me out when I showed up and was not the expected repair man. Instead he showed me their incredible display gardens, showcasing trees and shrubs in landscape settings with the canned products displayed as it might go in your home landscape. What an inspiration for the homeowners!!!
I do not know if they rent out for weddings, but these were beautiful display gardens suitable for events of that caliber.
I'm glad (for my sake anyway) that the repair man was 2 hours late because that is how much time I spent admiring the gardens and photographing them.
One product we sell a lot of is the Forest Pansy Redbud. In our hot climate, they grow just fine but do not hold the red-purple color in the foliage. Not a problem in McKinleyville. Take a look at this gorgeous tree!
If you are ever in the McKinleyville, California area, be inspired at Singing Tree Gardens.