The Landscape Garden is more than what most people consider to be garden. It is an enclosure to enter, stroll though, walking the paths up to and passed plants which might appear sculpture at one look, and framing after a few paces along the path. Envision a private woodland with windows and openings where beautiful forms or colors can be seen and beautifullly displayed.
Benches in the distance entice visitors to find the path to a resting place, providing for yet another scene where a sitting may resurrect cherished memories or inspire new thoughts……and smell new fragrances.
Last Sunday and Monday were the best days of color ever from my grounds. The mists coated the yellow, maroons and greens and oranges with a sheen that made them glow. The shrubs and understory trees were old enough, therefore large enough to show off their colors in mass. The paths were overwhelmed with dottings of every color possible from the leaves primarily from mature red maples, Acer rubrum.
Grace smokebush, Mount Airy Fothergilla, the garden’s featured redbud, the dusty plum red cedar, bright green Wintergreen Juniper, Dwarf Blue Spruce, Dark green Taunton Yews and Tree yews, chartreuse Sunkist Arborvitae, slowly changing from summer yellow, the red barberry leaves, the blackish leaves of an enormous baptisia with the seedling white and red oaks and their magnificent red and maroons, and the most fiery of them all, the leaves of Aralia spinosissimma with some purplish fruit still in tact lead the list with the most shockingly colors of the show.
Autumn color in my grounds usually begins about October 7. My massive white pines begin dropping their older needles and seem to cover everything for a week or so. The mature red maples, which I have been losing one after another recently, begin the color changing normally.
I have many, many confers and many which are dwarf or semi-dwarf…In just a few days they will begin to dominate the entire landscape with their form, size and color.
My landscape grounds almost always are as beautiful throughout winter as they are in the best of any other season. Especially since I have protected it from deer feedings with fencing.
More homes would appear more beautiful if they had grounds specifically designed for a winter garden. Minnesotans should remember that no plant beautiful in winter is ugly in summer…..but may plants which may be beautiful in summer are ugly or disappear in winter.
I must have about 100 hostas planted, lying about somewhere. Some varieties turned bright yellow, some showed darker patterns than their summer look, and yet, many of the older maintained the brightest, purest green, before their collapse as a garden showpiece.
Some hotlips Chelone was still in bloom as were several Goldsturm Rudbeckia which were growing in deeper shade. One of the best newer varieties on the market, Fireworks Solidago has been in bloom for three weeks…..a spectacular plant if planted in full sun.
On Sunday the sun tried to find room to break through the mist, but didn’t quite make it, making the various scenes show off in perfect lighting for best color display.
Many junipers change color in fall. Hughes, Prince of Wales, Andorra, the red cedars usually, turn plumish sometimes to almost a maroon, and some red cedars to a brown.
A finished landscape garden has a plant display, cover or grouping generally at every level of height to the highest tree grown, which could be a dwarf or semi-dwarf. Negative spaces may be filled by a variety of mulches or varieties of low growing ground covers.
Remember the greatest expanse of negative space in most home grounds is turf. Trees without negative space around them no longer are trees but become forests.
Increase your autumn color and winter forms by planning ahead perhaps this winter. Walk through your grounds to evaluate its winter beauty….
Usually Minnesotans forget about how beautiful they can make winter be with the right selection of plants led by the coniferous evergreens.