Monday, November 3, 2008

The Golden Tunnel

I think the leaves are going to peak this week in our yard, I wish I had a picture but its really hard to capture the overall feeling, so I'll just have to try and describe it. There is one path that leads from the back door to the vegetable garden and around to the shed, right now it is a golden tunnel.

High above on the left are a winged elm, hickories and maples, all turning a bright yellow, lower down dogwoods are burgundy red, to the right a coral barked maple, that stands by the gate to the veg garden, combines the two colors in one. The ground is speckled with the same reds and yellows and on both sides of the path, the leaves of the hostas have also chosen this moment to go gold.

More than once yesterday I had to stop right there on my way to something else and just drink it in for a moment, frozen by the warm golden light as I stepped under the coral bark, stopping to look up into the underside of those brilliant yellow leaves veined in red, the bright blue sky behind them, setting them off perfectly.

On the edges of the lawn the tallest maples are now turning lime green, edges tipped with orange, in the next week the color will spread all the way down them and will be spectacular. The whole forest is casting an ochre light now, but there is still much green in the understory.

We've been playing musical plants again. This weekend it was the bed to the west of the house, one of the very first that we planted over 10 years ago. We had been ignoring it, even avoiding it, just barely keeping the weeds at bay and had let mums take over almost the entire space waiting to paint the house and design and build the rose trellis that was finally finished in May (see blog post from May 14th).

Yesterday we tackled it. Pulling out vinca- never plant this plant, it came in here on irises and day lilies we got from my father and now we'll never get rid of it- The whole time I was ripping it out, intermingled with mint- another thing to never plant- I was imagining the plants laughing at my foolish attempts, I know it will all be right back before I can blink.

We went through the mums and pulled out the more boring pale pinks and almost whites and saved the darker pure salmon and salmony-pink hybrids and a few that had a perfect white ring around the yellow button center, surrounded by dark pink petals. We dug a tall aster from under my window and will move those under the kitchen window, dug cannas from under the rose trellis to move under my window.

I dug a Siberian iris that we planted 10 years ago and split it into 12 pieces, put 4 back- anyone want some iris? I dug a peony, also there 10 years and split it into 6 pieces, put 2 back? Then we planted the new raspberry sundae peonies, rearranged the mums that were left and now it looks pretty war torn but it will be great in a couple of years.

Today David will figure out what to do with all the extra plants, they are currently tucked into the leaf pile awaiting a decision. I still have bulbs and more peonies to go in the ground. But after some rain tomorrow, there will be more golden days and I plan to spend them all outside working in the yard, as these are the last few weeks to get these chores completed.

When I was working full-time I bemoaned the fact that I had to go to the office when I all I really wanted was to be outside on these glorious fall days. I feel incredibly fortunate now to be able to do just that, of course I've bitten off a huge bite of stuff to do, but that's typical, I might actually have a prayer of getting it all done this year before the weather turns cold in December, but I'll have to keep at it, I don't work as hard or as long as I once did.

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