This has been a crazy, crazy year. Our traditional Thanksgiving is normally spent with our wonderful families. This year will be different for many of us. We still plan to make the most of it and have quiet but special Thanksgiving Holiday.
We have a lot to be thankful for even in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have our health and the wonderful world around us. We share the spirt of our families even though we are physically separated. With the development of effective vaccines, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel to be able to get back to a “normal” way of life. If we all work together, we can restore our national economy and resolve the political strife. Two Thousand Twenty One will be a much better year.
Here is to all … Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Make the most of every moment.
I saw these spent rudbeckias blowing against flowing grasses in our Heatherwood garden. I did not see the individual flowers or the grasses but instead visualized swirling orange, brown, and yellow colors and textures. When I reviewed several of the images I took, none seemed to catch the feeling that I had when I was out on my walk. Instead of moving on to other images, I decided to experiment a little by creating a multi-image blend in Photoshop. Voila … this is the result!
Our neighbor’s cherry orchard provides a beautiful background for Heatherwood. It has seasonal interest throughout the year. Beautiful light pink blossoms welcome in spring. Lush green highlights the summer months. Striking orange-brown decorates the fall hillside. The snow covered trees provide a striking contrast in the winter. The orchard provides a nice place to take a walk throughout the year and provides a special sweet treat in July.
The orchard and hillside are a good example for “borrowed scenery” for Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. With the limited space in our garden, we wanted to make as much use of the surrounding hills borrowing their character and beauty. As we were laying out our garden paths and tree placements, we consciously identified surrounding areas that we wanted to highlight. We formed the path and placed trees to create framed scenes of the surrounding hills and valley below.
I can’t get enough of the beautiful fall color at Heatherwood. With all the guidance to stay at home during the accelerated expansion of Covid-19 cases, we are so lucky to be able to just step outside to partake in the beauty of autumn.
Along Heatherwood’s waterfalls, several Japanese Maples grace the stream bank. Their fall color frame the Kotoji lantern as well as the stream. They are young trees now, but over time will grow with their branches extending over the stream and waterfalls. After the final leaves fall, we will reluctantly shut down the stream’s water for the winter.
Two sets of American White Birch trees were planted by the previous owner of our property. They marked the southwest and southeast corners of the original landscaped area. A lot has changed in the last four years. Now they act as sentinels linking the upper and lower landscape areas. The birches provide much needed shade in the summer and stark beauty in the winter. Their fall foliage is interesting, but not as striking as the bright yellows of the European birch. However, they are better acclimated to our environment and much more disease resistant than their European cousins.
For both the small birch groves, we are planting understory shrubs, perennials, and ground covers. This will naturalize and smooth the transition between lawn and planting areas.
As I was writing my daily journal entry, I looked outside my office and saw the sun highlighting a distant hill. I quickly grabbed my camera and became immersed in the sunshine and mist. Tree leaves were glistening with droplets from the prior nights rain. Sun rays were highlighting Heatherwood’s trees and shrubs while a light fog was partially hiding the surrounding hills and valley. What a great way to start the day!
Two hours later I went in the house and had a wonderful breakfast/lunch. Then Mary and I went out for another walk around the garden, enjoying, feeling, and touching nature’s wonders.
“Morning View From My Office Window” Heatherwood, Fall
I start most every day in the dark with a cup of coffee and a fountain pen in my hand. Each day is a clean slate for me to make what I want out of it. I start to write about whatever is on my mind. I wander from thought to thought, and start to arrange my day. After my daily journal writing, I pick up a book and read a little, making notes of things I want to think about. By this time, the sun starts to break over the eastern ridge above our home. I look out and watch most sunrises emerge. I turn around from my desk and look out my office window and think what a great day this is going to be!
Magenta, green, orange, yellow, red and green … How many colors can a leaf have? Patterns and lines grace the leaf in random fashions. What factors determine the design of an autumn leaf? Like a snowflake, no two are the same. The wonder of nature has many stories to tell.
The buttery yellow of a November rose brings a little sunshine to our rose garden. Most of the garden’s roses are spent and hanging down. Just a few of our yellow floribunda remain. Even these are on their last hurrah. Leaves are wilting and falling off. Rose hips are forming. It is time for the roses to go to sleep for the winter and get their rest for a bright June bloom.