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November in the Garden

I love fall!  The joy of being outdoors and enjoying how beautiful the natural world is. With the trees cloaked in their fall colour, why not take a bit more time to enjoy your garden. I recently read that,

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Autumn in the Garden

I love to be in my garden in the autumn.  The temperatures are perfect for working outdoors and it feels like there is some sort of natural rhythm that is encouraging us to get outdoors and create something.  You pull out your gum boots and your favourite old gardening sweater and head out to your yard, knowing that this is exactly what you should be doing.  Leave the blasted cell phone and computer behind and be off the grid in your backyard for a few hours to get some fresh air, exercise and clear your mind.

Autumn is a very successful time for planting trees, shrubs and perennials.  The cool nights and overnight dew refresh newly planted, hardy garden plants.  The fall soil temperatures are still warm enough to get some good root growth to develop before winter comes and your newly planted trees, shrubs and vines will get off to a great start.  Of course it is a great time to choose plants with fall colours; Japanese Maples, burning bush, smoke bush and all the plants that hold berries through fall and winter are fabulous to add to your garden now.

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The Autumn Colours

Here come the beautiful fall colours!  Whether walking or driving around, Campbell River I have had enjoyed these colours in street trees, on our trails, the stunning view of Quadra Island with the big leaf maples (Acer macrophyllum) lit up within the deep green coniferous trees and in your private gardens.  This leads me to think, of how we never know, who will enjoy the trees and shrubs we plant.

A personal experience of this was a particularly magnificent Smoke Bush (Cotinus) on Hilchey Road which caused me pull over and snap a photo of its glory; all glowing coral deepening to pinkish-red.  I was so pleased I had my camera handy and thankful to the homeowner who planted it for the glowing feeling it passed along to me.

For many years the burning bush (Euonymus alatus) and red maples (Acer rubrum) at the Arena on Dogwood street have been enjoyed by so many of us.  Customers mention this gorgeous planting each and every fall.  I hope those who planted and cared for these plants know how much we all appreciate their beauty.

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Plants for Fall & Winter Interest

Autumn is such a magical time in the garden.  With summer behind us the light is softening to golden hues and the shadows are getting long and a lot of plants are preparing for winter.  At the same time some plants have been waiting all spring and summer to delight us with their showiest season - Autumn.

Some plants will dazzle us with fall colours of rich burgundy, red, gold and orange and others will more delicately change to apricot, soft yellows and dusty rose.  All in my mind are beautiful but finding stunning combinations is as important as the plants themselves.  For example; I love the way the deep, dark, plum leaves of Cotinus (Smoke Bush) illuminate in the fall to salmon-pink tones.  However when Smoke Bush are combined with Pampas Grass (and maybe a little bit of a wrought iron fence or railing in behind) you have a gorgeous vignette to look upon, not only in the summer but also in the fall.  This is a little combo I've been looking for a place around my house for a while. 

Here are just a few of the plants that I think are interesting for using for fall and winter interest.  Some have interesting leaves or fall colour, some have beautiful stems and some have gorgeous berries.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' (Twig Dogwood)

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November in the Garden

Bring the beauty of gardening indoors with amaryllis bulbs and paperwhites. Both of these are easy to grow and will add a fresh feeling of something new and something growing to your living space. Potting up either of these will take you little time but for weeks to come you will be rewarded with a satisfied feeling of being the gardener extraordinaire!

Light up your garden with Christmas lights. When it comes time to put up your Christmas lights instead of lighting up your house (or as wells as) how about lighting up your trees. I always love when the Christmas lights on Shoppers Row go up. One of the things I love about winter is seeing the outline of magnificent trees. There is much to be learned about growing and pruning trees from standing back and observing the form of mature trees.

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