Fall colour in a downtown city garden (mine)
My posts usually deal with OPG (other people's gardens) since OPG are usually neat, manicured, tidy; at least, well looked after by myself or the homeowner. These adjectives, alas, don't apply to my garden which is part nursery and part trial garden. It's kind of like the cobbler's kids and their shoes.
But the missus and I do love our little patch of paradise right downtown, even with the lack of privacy and two (!) monstrous Tree(s?) of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) dispensing their seeds everywhere. And the suckers...ugh! Through careful site analysis, bubble diagrams outlining functionalities, and the well-executed master plan (i.e., buying what looked nice at the nurseries and plonking them where there was room), garden muses and his muse have wrought Sissinghurst out of Sanford and Son, to mix metaphors.
Well, not exactly Sissinghurst or another paragon of a fine garden, but a yard that is showing its best right now. There is little emphasis on flowers because of the squirrels (who love to decapitate any bud exactly 2 days before bloom) and the surrounding houses (which provide us with precisely 3.289 hours of direct sunlight a day). I prefer woody shrubs and small trees anyway for structure, shade, and fall colour as these pictures show.
|I really do love my "Ukigumo" but I love them all!|
Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum cv) are nice enough the rest of the year but during autumn they really shine. This shot shows a yellow "Ukigumo" behind a seedling Eastern Redbud, a small potted "Bloodgood" to its right, and then a coral pink "Butterfly". At the top, from left to right, we have an "Arnold Promise" witchhazel, "Summer Snowflake" Doublefile Viburnum, and "Onondaga" Sargent Viburnum. In the lower left corner is a "Grace" smokebush which oddly has been disappointing in the fall colour department this year. The "Halcyon" hosta in the lower right area hasn't turned an orange-yellow yet but will, soon enough.
|Acer palmatum "Crimson Queen" and "Seiryu" among an "Onodaga" viburnum|
Here's a look from the opposite view. Other Japanese maples in this view include "Crimson Queen" in the lower left corner and an orangey "Seiryu"in the centre. Yes, there is actually a path somewhere leading to the garage. Now you can appreciate the lack of privacy concern with the apartment next to us in the background. At least there's a nice show if anyone bothered looking out.
|Cornus kousa on the left hasn't turned colour yet but the Katsuratree has|
By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog"