The Garden Ablaze

November 10, 2010

Red, red and red everywhere in the garden today! It seems as if a wildfire is silently, slowing burning – but with furious color and heat – every few feet in the garden.

The spyrias have all gone up in flames, but differently. Some are really crimson, some nearly pink, some almost purple. Seeing as they are nearly all the same variety, I must attribute the color differences to how well the soil is amended in each spot, the angle and amount of light they receive each day, and how close they are to the house. Closer to the house means the soil stays warmer all winter long which could certainly affect the color show.

The coral bells are still mostly green, a rich forest, then a blinding blast of bright orange here and there as a leaf turns. The wild geranium tends to be like this too, airy green leaves drying and then FLASH! A pop of red to surprise and delight. While the native foxglove is known to just wither and disappear, suddenly there is a unique cluster of leaves, cranberry against the dirt.

The barberry, burgundy all year, is suddenly awash in garnet, bright and vibrant against brown grasses and drying garlic chives.

The anemone leaves are turning too, from deep evergreen to bright burgundy, some leaves looking tie-dyed as I catch them in the middle of their change. The sedum truly looks like a bonfire, with yellow stems and leaves reaching out like flickering fire, topped with claret blooms.

Yesterday, while I was gone, more than 200 pieces of firewood were delivered and dumped on our driveway. Tony wheeled load after load and piled them neatly along the side of the house. Griffey was probably wild with anticipation of evenings lolling in front of the fireplace, toasty warm on my lap.

While the garden is shades of fiery red now and will turn brown in weeks to come, that mix of oak and birch is now brown, with the orange, yellow and red yet to come.

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