The first official day of Fall 2014 isn’t until September 23, but there’s the undeniable feeling of change in the air at Coppertop. Such a gorgeous time of year! Alders and bigleaf maples all over the property shimmer in a bronzy tint as they begin shedding leaves.
I prepare to be wowed by the magical crimson changes the maples undergo in the planted gardens, even if simple scientific explanation involves photosynthesis, pigments, and changing sunlight. This transformation is miraculous to me.
Acer circinatum or vine maples are pacific northwest natives. These multi-trunk beauties thrive in the understory of tall evergreens, as wide as they are tall. A few were planted singly throughout the gardens as well. Soon they’ll glow scarlet.
Blueberry bushes, peonies, some climbing vines, and flowering currant bushes are all taking on fall colors. The red five-leafed vine in the black arches area looks like Virginia Creeper, or Parthenocissus quinquefolia, so I will be diligent to keep it contained.
Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning – 1st Stanza of The Autumn