Does the word “lavishness” come to mind when you think of fall? The autumn Elderyarding® garden can be a glorious sensory exploration. So come on, get started!
Here are five tips to slow down and really look, smell, and feel with enjoyment and abandon. Explore the deep richness in your garden now, the Elderyarding® way.
Here’s Celebration #1: Change levels and notice the leaf colors, and their contrasts with one another. Stand up, then look up, way up above your usual eye level view.
This is where you may see the first signs of the sugar-driven color changes in foliage.
Stop and look down at what’s underfoot. You may even want to sit down to get closer to the leafy kaleidoscope that’s already started. Some of it may be color here, but some may just be – brown. Count the number of different brown pigments in leaves and stems and branches and roots visible here. There’s amazing variety in the upper and lower surfaces of the same leaf, and of leaves from the same tree.
Here’s Celebration #2: In autumn, the angle of the sunlight changes because the sun is lower on the horizon for the northern hemisphere. What an opportunity to look at light! Pay attention to how light illuminates and calls your attention to the new shapes of plants, especially grasses.
Ornamental grasses are in their glory now as they send up their plumed or spiky seedheads.
The angled light can emphasize every tiny awn on a seed in beautiful fractures of sun. And backlit leaves can really show off how their color is altered from day to day.
Here’s Celebration #3:
In fall, you may have the urge for repetitive clean-up tasks for your “outdoor nest.”
Gently rake leaves or scratch through the gravel to loosen those weeds that sneaked in, wind-blown plantings from summer. Exercise is good in the mellower temperatures this time of year. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous to accomplish a lot – both for the garden and for your health. Chopped leaves add some of summer’s richness back to flower beds. And the raking action itself may recall memories of other gardens, other useful chores.
Here’s Celebration #4: What’s in your yard that fits into a sense of fall harvest? Consider trees that offer nuts or acorns. Pay attention to how you know when the nuts are ready to be picked. Acorns and hazelnuts twist gently from their caps, if you can grab them before the squirrels, that is. And notice where nuts are happy to grow. Oaks can be deliriously happy on hilltops, but birch likes the edges of creek beds, and edible nut trees like pecans and walnuts prefer the deep soil of floodplains best. What else could you harvest now?
Here’s Celebration #5: One relaxing fall pastime is to watch the swoops of birds and butterflies that move through on their semi-annual migrations. Take an inventory in your garden. What’s available to nourish them on their journey?
Stand back with a wide view and look for seeds, fruits, flowers and plants that are home to insects.
Watch the feeding habits and evaluate whether you have enough and the right kinds of temptations for the creatures floating through your garden space or whether additions could be beneficial.