This is a beautiful time of year, particularly up here in New England where the trees are beginning to shed their leaves. But not so quietly. All of this riotous color is certainly less than sober.
The trees put on each of these leaves in the spring. And after shading and protecting us from the summer sun, they bid their glorious farewell, giving the trees a chance to rest before the cycle starts all over again.
As they slip off into their winter sleep I had an opportunity to visit with a man very well acquainted with these noble giants. David Smith is English by birth but he's spent a long time on this side of the pond. He's a former Director of Horticulture at White Flower Farm in Litchfield Connecticut.
David Smith, Ret. Dir. of Hort. at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, CT: Things would be rather dull if we had greens the whole year round.
Allen: Yes, it would be.
David Smith: And the colors really tend to start in August. And you get the less and less chlorophyll being produced. And I think the other colors that are there without us seeing them tend to accentuate '
Allen: And come forward.
David Smith: ' and come forward to the surface and then we see these brilliant colors coming on - some reds and oranges.
With all this beauty around here, there is certainly plenty of inspiration for planting a tree. And you know this time of year it's always a bit staggering if not poignant for me to think of all the autumns a tree will experience. They really are silent witnesses to history.
From the garden, I'm Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
© 1998 - Hortus, Ltd.