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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Leafless trees

The change in the neighborhood and my garden is quite dramatic this time of year. Even though we have many evergreen trees here in California, many deciduous species have been planted, especially in the tree lawns of the neighborhoods.

The disappearing leaves open up new vistas that I haven't seen in 12 months. The mountains to our north and south are suddenly visible again, as are the houses themselves. Many of them have sat behind the deep shade and foliage of their Japanese Mulberry trees, catalpa and even a few maples, here and there.

As I take my evening walks, I love the sound of crunching leaves underfoot. That sound, and the smell of decomposition, brings a deep, resounding message of "Fall." The season usually doesn't last long here in Los Angeles, but this year it seems to be holding court longer than is common. I am enjoying it.

I have a nice mix of evergreen and deciduous plants in my garden, so I get the benefit of both. The evergreens keep it from feeling entirely bare and exposed, while the others bring a feeling of the change of seasons. My wisteria is dropping its leaves, too, and this remind me of the need for a major pruning before it leafs out again. It has taken over its trellis and become hopelessly tangled and matted after years of neglect. I think a good pruning will increase the chance of bigger blooms in the years to come, even if my bad pruning style reduces the bloom this year. I also need to do some trellis repair that can only be accomplished with the most of the vines removed.


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