Wednesday, June 22, 2011

For Michael and Hanne


Sunlight catching the large fleshy strap leaves of the Clivias that grow beneath the shade of the Swamp Cypress in my garden. Each season has its own particular brand of beauty!



This post has been prepared with Michael and Hanne in mind. They are the authors of Penticton Commentary, a marvellous Canadian blog that features their travels and the landmarks both in and around Penticton, where they are based. They refer to themselves as 'Retired Travellers' and they certainly have lived and travelled all over the world. Michael is orginally from the UK and Hanne is proudly of Danish origin.  They remain true to their roots, yet totally united in their obvious love of Canada.  They spend their days cycling, enjoying wonderful walks, scenic drives and visiting and entertaining their friends and family from around the globe. Please do visit their blog...  http://mhs22.blogspot.com/2011/06/linden-gardens.html 

 Please click the Read more button below to continue reading this post...


Michael is an outstanding photographer...and pedantic about ensuring horizons are perfectly straight ;)  He always seeks out the unusual and enjoys weaving into his posts an interesting and varied commentary about current affairs, both locally and from around the world. Michael also creates the most beautiful digital paintings from his photographs. Hanne is frequently his model and she often coordinates the colour of her apparel to the subject matter...whether deliberately, or by happy accident, is their secret ;)

A while back, I'd featured a post on Autumn in my garden and, quick as wink, Michael wanted to know where the fallen leaves were...at that time, I'd been too busy gathering the daily mounds of large leaves from the Liquidamber and the Japanese Elm's smaller, but equally vast droppings, to take any pictures. My favourite leaf fall in Autumn comes from our Swamp Cypress, which is one of our last deciduous trees to dump. I like them most particularly, because they are so delicate and leave a beautifu,l fine, russet drape over everything. Herewith follows a selection of pictures taken in the garden this past week...I hope these satisfy your curiosity, M & H !

I do not remove leaf litter from the garden beds, unless they are really far too thick...in our climate, where it rains during the winter months, the leaves break down fairly quickly so that by the time summer arrives, there's very little evidence of the previous season's drop!

Beneath the leaves, I have layers of bark mulch, put down and added to over the years...this manifests itself into a haven for earthworms and other little bugs and beetles that thrive in this environment...which, in turns, leads to plenty of snack material for visiting birdlife and daily foraging for nesting pairs.

I have to be quite meticulous with removing leaves from the pond surface, as they quickly sink and form a very thick layer of sediment. When this rots, the water can turn anaerobic seemingly overnight, leaving our three wild fish gasping for air and causing a foul stench to pervade the air...not desirable consequences at all! When this does occasionally happen, quick action is required...the pond needs to be flushed and refilled with clean water (we use tap water and have never had a problem in all the years we've had fish). We run the pump continuously at this time of the year in order to keep the water properly aerated.

We sweep the pathways and paving regularly...slippery leaves can become quite treacherous and I've had one fall too many in my life to risk taking chances.

The area adjacent to my greenhouse is particularly thickly covered as this is near to where the Swamp Cypress grows...

The very last tree to shed is the Willow tree, which also grows here (right overhead, in fact!)...some of its leaves have begun to make their appearance intermingled with the Swamp Cypress leaves, but the bulk of the Willow tree leaves have yet to fall.

Even the wooden disks, cut from trunks in the garden and placed in the beds as steps, have been hidden completely under the carpeting of Swamp Cypress leaves...I do make time to brush the leaves off these very regularly, lest they start to breakdown and become slippery.

The camelia flowers have also begun to drop...this area will soon be carpeted by the fallen flowers. Coco loves them, regularly choosing one to bring indoors.  One evening, she plucked a complete flower, scattering all the pink petals across our bed. It looked ever so pretty and although I couldn't help giving her points for creativity, I admit to not being too enchanted with her handiwork, as it meant more cleaning (and there's enough to be done already without Coco adding to the workload)!

You can see my fascination with logs and stumps! I have groupings throughout my garden beds.

Larger palm fronds dwarf the tiny leaves of the Swamp Cypress, which towers high above the palm.

What I love about the leaves from the Swamp Cypress is how quickly the tiny leaflets break free of their stalks...they form such a fine mulch on everything, without smothering and they smell lovely.

View towards our bedroom from behind the pond.

So, Michael and Hanne, this is what my garden looks like in Autumn! Completely smothered by leaf litter and everything in "Go Slow" mode :)

37 comments:

  1. Even with accumulation of fallen leaves your place is still so inviting and beautiful. I never tire of looking at your photographs.

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  2. It looks lovely and sunny despite the falling leaves. Beautiful colour!

    I'm sure Michael and Hanne will love it (and not a wonky horizon in sight - yes, I've been told about that one too :) )

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  3. Desiree, I like the logs - don't they get slippery when wet though? That fine mulch must break down wonderfully. It is so good to have a mixture of different leaves. Did coco do the petals on the bed after you had your luxurious time at the spa? I have always wanted someone to do that for me.... sigh.

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  4. Africanaussie: As long as I jet-spray the wooden disks, they are safe to walk on. They become slippery if they get mosses growing on the smooth surface. Coco's petal display happened shortly before I went away ;)

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  5. What an extraordinary thing to have a whole blog title dedicated to us! You are spoiling us inordinately but thank, you thank you Des! We'll take it!
    We now have a wide window into your Fall garden! It is a busy place, full of interest!
    Oh by the way, I have this strange disease I suffer from: it is called Obsessive Compulsive Picture Straightener.
    Fortunately a lot of your photos have no horizons...
    I also am an OC speller, and today I found two errors in the Manchester Guardian, and only one in this post, so you are doing very well!
    Thank you for your kind comments again!
    Love you,
    Michael and Hanne.

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  6. It looks so beautiful, Desiree. I especially like the last photo. It's amazing how each season has its own special beauty.

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  7. Your garden is amazing no matter the season! Even in fall it has its charm! You are so lucky to have it :)

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  8. immensely beautiful!
    Gorgeous garden.

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  9. Your garden looks amazing......lovely day darling....xxx...

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  10. Your garden is fantastic and lush! I also have clay soil and hot dry summers. I am truly amazed at the paradise you have created under those conditions. I aspire to your greatness! What an oasis. And the pond looks beautiful. I am going to send some of our frogs your way:)

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  11. Desiree Oh I love the way you describe every detail of your beautiful garden. It is lovely I love the tree stumps also I guess that is why I spend so much time in my bush.
    I am off to visit your friends blog my sister and my brother in law used to live in Penticton. It sounds lovely.
    Oh yes love the kettle. B

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  12. Oh Desiree, how I LOVE LOVE LOVE someone who utilises all in the garden to garden! Your autumn garden is beautiful. I love it. I've just been outside with dear Stanley; we were discussing how to bring up some old logs from the bottom of the garden to my new wild section. He is catching the fever of using what nature gives us. We have a compost/mulch heap which we share with the whole lane! And this is in five months of gardening here. I loved your photography. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Well done. Love and hugs. Jo

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  13. Coco is so romantic. Beautiful post.

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  14. Is there any sweeter smell than freshly fallen leaves? Well other than children who have just played in freshly fallen leaves. :)

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  15. Your garden looks beautiful....and yes, i did visit the blog of your friends....also amazing.....you now i love the see your pictures...and now there's one blog more with such beautiful pictures :) Thank you for sharing..
    Love and hugs Bianca xx

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  16. Hi Desiree,

    Food storage is to be used in many events, famine/shortage due to weather, economic hardship, natural disaster, etc. I'm not sure if it's just an American idea. You can read more about it at www.providentliving.org

    Hope that helps. :)
    Stacy

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  17. Wonderful pictures! The first one is especially lovely.

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  18. Your garden looks so inviting and warm, even if it's autumn, now you only need a photo of Coco...

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  19. such beauty! your gardens are really gorgeous...so relaxing...and refreshing. i could wander all day...night...

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  20. How beautiful your garden is and how completely different from a tame English country garden. I love the architectural plants you have, so bold and showy, If I could grow only half of them here, I'd be happy.

    Ferns are my great favourites but even some of them die in winter. It breaks my heart.

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  21. I love your pictures as usual and your garden is so lovely and natural. I know a garden is a continuous work in progress and that it isn't something a person can do overnight. You inspire me to try harder with my little plot...*sigh* next year, the landlord willing. Going to check out the blog you recommended. I love Canada, too. I drove across a good portion of it when I left Alaska and I was enchanted by the gorgeous scenery, relatively clean cities and the friendly locals.

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  22. I love your garden with all the leaves around, it looks warm and inviting to me. what seasson are you at now at south africa, it seems autumn? or perhaps winter like us.
    hugs dear

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  23. Winter doesn't boast lovely rust colours for nothing. I noticed that your garden has such a variety. Here, they separate the flowers from the trees, everything with its spot. You have a whole ecosystem and it's a delight to see it all at work.

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  24. Such a wonderful tour through your garden! Thank you.

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  25. Your place looks lovely in all seasons! I like all those stumps and circles, too.

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  26. Your yard is so beautiful. It must not ever get very cold there... maybe the climate is sort like southern or mid california? I know my sister lives in souther CA and they do have disiduous trees, but they only lose their leaves for a few weeks a year and then they come right back.

    Around here, by the time we get to winter, the leaves are long gone and the ground is snow covered. No green can be seen anywhere -ground or tree - for many months.

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  27. My dear friend what a pleasure it is to be back visiting your blog. I have had such withdrawal symptoms. Even Hubby thinks your photographs and posts are beautiful. No, I'm not letting him have his computer back until I've caught up here with the posts I've missed. I'm also goingto check out the website you mention. Bet it isn't as good as yours!
    Huge hugs
    XOXO
    You might notice that I don't come up as facing 50 any more....that's because I have a new website www.carolwyer.com -yep I have .com oooh!

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  28. First time visiting your blog . I came over from rattlebox. I'll be visiting again.

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  29. I'm finally back on and trying to check in with my favorite blogs to let everyone know I'm still alive. haha.
    I had some kidney problems trying to stay off dialysis, pink eye and to finish it all off I have a sinus infection. yeah. Anyway I have been given a ton of drugs so a little loopy but I guess that isn't so different than my usual self. Hope you are doing well. Thanks for checking in with me.

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  30. Superb photos of your garden with its beautiful cloaks of leaves. The colours are so varied and I can almost hear the earthworms squirming with delight!
    A wonderful post :D)
    Am off to visit Michael and Hanne's blog now.

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  31. To have such lush greenery around my home is something I long for. At this age and where I live that will never happen..so it is a heavenly experience to come visit you...and dream.
    Hugs,
    Mona

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  32. beautiful garden...love the light on the green... wonderful :)

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  33. I enjoyed the walk through your garden. Most beautiful. Such a lovely green in autumn contrasted with the falling leaves.

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  34. Thank you for the card. I'm sorry Blogger has been acting up for you. Don't worry about catching up too much, life always hurries around like a crazy bus, but you don't really need to run and catch it. You can just take a walk :)

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  35. LAVI:

    Such wise words from one so young! You're a breath of fresh air, Lavi :)

    Hugs,
    Des xoxo

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  36. Even with the dead leaf cover your garden looks a delight. It sounds like hard work to keep it so lovely though. (I'm not a gardener.)
    Ha, the WV is 'rosies' - seems apt.

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  37. Gorgeous gardens in all of the seasons. I love all the hidden treasures you've built in there. I looks like a fabulous place to curl up with a good book.

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