Red Maple and Phormium Tenax
As the autumn of 2005 slowly shows itself I've been reminiscing about the new deciduous trees I planted in the garden some years ago. Choosing them was so stressful.
What types of trees would enjoy living in my windy garden? As a keen novice tree-grower I researched, drew plans, made lists, and wrote an earnest new trees article (one of my first). But what trees did I actually like?
Dogwoods for the Dog
Fuzzy logic prevailed. I bought lots of Dogwoods because I loved dogs (particularly Taj-dog the original Moosey canine). I went for golden leafed trees because I loved light, and the Maples were sale price - too bad about the wind warnings on their labels.
The sequence of watching their subsequent growth has been quite odd. I had no clear expectations as to how the trees would grow and what they would look like (I used minimal gardening intelligence to read the labels). I couldn't easily visualise the growth of a small shrub, let alone a tree which could eventually occupy a large space.
Over the first few years I might have stood close and taken frame-filling photographs - or caught an autumn colouring leaf and taken a close-up. As the years pass I have noticed that some new trees give more shade (I'm pleased - this was in their job description). I've limbed some of them up, so I have physical proof that they're growing. But I've always forgotten to look upwards.
Golden Autumn Trees
This autumn I've been taken by surprise - I can actually see the red leaves of the Oak trees in the pond paddock - from the house! Eek! Were they supposed to grow this big? Does this mean they will soon be too big? I didn't actually plant the Driveway trees, but they too look twice the size they were when we first met.
Autumn Trees over the Water
The deciduous trees I planted in the Dog-Path garden are putting on a brilliant show - vantage point the upstairs windows. The cute slow-growing Dogwood over the water race is flecked with rich red leaves - and my goodness, how it's bulked out! Time to cut down one of the neighbours (another Pittosporum bites the dust). The little red Maple is peeping out above the Viburnum shrubs. And the choosing of golden trees was inspired - they are now almost as tall as the shelter trees. They seem to go up for ever!
No More Autumn Leaf Close-Ups!
Last autumn I had a close-up camera button obsession (I had just discovered it). Leaf colour and vein patterns, leaf shape and design, sun and shadows on leaves were pictorially catalogued with enthusiasm (and a spot of tree climbing, when a perfect geometric symmetry was spied).
Golden Autumn Gleditzia
This year I'm going for the trees. I shall boldly lean out of upstairs windows and capture whole trees in my pictures. Do I know the tree names? If not, I'll jolly well find out. This autumn it's the year of the tree.