The Scarboro Garden Scene – Indian Summer beauty

thegardener's picture
not the biblical one
a lake in the rockies
pink is theoretically light red
crab apples!

Indian Summer beauty

Indian summer, or as some Europeans call it, “Old Wives’ Summer” is something we all enjoy, in part because we can wander around appreciating the contrasting colours, both in the mountains, and back in Scarboro. Providing red and gold colour in the early winter is a goal for many of us and the contrasting the green or blue of evergreen conifers brings a joy to me. If we have watered our lawns well, that green backdrop highlights the fall colours. But next year, have you a plan to expand your fall palette? A visit to some of the quieter valleys of the mountains can stimulate our senses – the photo shows the contrasting colours of larch and other evergreens beside an unidentified lake.
Various types of mountain ash, including the uncommon oak-leafed mountain ash provide bright red berries, and beautiful bright foliage. Eating and cooking apples vary from pale green to a captivating mix of green splashed with red streaks. High Bush American cranberry supplies us with scarlet berries in delightful suspensions, and the elderberries can be purple/black or red on shrubs of about the same size as the higher cranberries (note how different the leaf shapes can be on different elder shrubs). The poisonous Woody (or climbing) Nightshade vine, also called Bittersweet, have delightful red berries at this time. This nightshade, botanically known as Solanum dulcamara, is a good example of the various common names applied to plants that can lead to confusion, while with a little familiarity with the genetic name, any doubt about which plant we are talking about is removed.
Burning Bush comes in several attractive varieties, all of which are worth considering: their unusual scarlet and peuce coloured flowers and tiny fruit survived the September storm, and several shrubs exist in our community are worth looking at.

Glynn Wright
301 words
Sept 25, 2014
November issue