while jed was off on a boys day trip to the sand dunes, i had a fun filled day with the kids.
it was a rainy morning and the skies had dark gray clouds.
what could we do?
we thought, let's go to the aquarium.
after i finally got our little group of 3 ready, we looked outside and the weather looked perfect.
the sky was a lighter shade of gray, there was a light breeze, and the pavement was drying.
we decided to take advantage of this weather break and head to gardener village to hunt us some witches.
the kids loved running up and down the pathways to spot the spooky witches. chase mostly liked shouting at the ducks in the pond "dutee, dutee."
no witch hunting adventure is complete without a stop at the Naborhood Bakery. chase and i treated ourselves to chocolate chip cookies, while bayli devoured an orange frosted cake donut. it was a tasty good time.
after our witch hunt/bakery run we headed to subway to get ourselves a little picnic (doesn't dessert come first in your household?).
bayli picked west jordan city park as our destination "it has a beautiful princess castle." (it's really a mighty fort, but i can't tell her that).
the weather was perfect for a fall picnic. the air was crisp and clean smelling. there were gold and orange leaves scattered everywhere.
the kids had a great time running through the fort/playground. of course, chase frequently got side tracked with the fallen leaves and branches.
we walked through the park and found some large piles of leaves and had ourselves a mini battle. chase and bayli were so cute trying to clobber mom with tiny handfuls of leaves. we mysteriously found leaves in our hair and clothes for the rest of the afternoon.
it was a wonderful day with memories i know that i will never forget.
the leaves smelled so delicious. they reminded me of one my favorite trees in my yard, the london plane tree (a type of sycamore). they have a distinct, yet sweet smell. until my trip to the park, i could never quite identify what that smell was. now i can say that it reminds me of rotting fall leaves. a smell that i can never walk away from without getting flashes of good memories.
besides their wonderful smell, these trees have amazing bark. it flakes and peels to show lighter contrasts in color, looking almost like cracked paint.
we planted 3 of these beauties 2 springs ago. they are a very hardy tree with large beautiful leaves. they are fairly fast growers, ours have over doubled in size in just over a year.
it is wonderful to know that i get the smell of fall in my yard as soon as my london planes let out their leaves next spring. and that smell will last into late fall.
the london planes keep their green color longer than any other deciduous tree in our yard. they have barely started to turn a lighter shade of green with a touch of brown.
as our yard has matured, we find ourselves enjoying every change that it undertakes. during the spring we love watching new leaves and shoots develop. during the summer we love watching the branches stretch and the fruit develop. but it is during fall that i find myself wrapped up in the color and beauty of many of our plants. i love the dramatic changes in color from plant to plant.
much of our yard is xeriscaped (more drought tolerant). this leads to more dramatic textures and color between plants.we have a variety of grasses.
fall is the perfect time to see the color and texture of ornamental grasses. our pampas grass turns a purplish hue. and its tassels tower as high as our eaves. it has a magical sound when the wind hits its drying stalks.
we love blue oat grass, and have graced our yard with its beauty abundantly. i love how the tassels turn golden against the blue-green stalks. we were surprised to see new seedlings scattered throughout the flowerbeds.
jed nurtured and prepped our yard so well before we planted our lawn. now it is very vibrant and beautiful through all of the seasons. but in the fall, it is such a great addition of color.
i love gambel oak (aka scrub oak). it is a beautiful addition to every yard. i have loved watching it stretch taller and taller this year. it bares vibrant hues in red, yet still hangs on to green undertones. i can't wait for the year when it will produce acorns. imagine the loveliness of that event, acorns scattered amongst the falling leaves.
if you want a plant that will always bare bright reds and oranges in fall, look for a sumac. we always wanted sumac. we were able to get some smooth sumac from jed's grandparents the first year that we started planting our yard. it has been beautiful since. it is extremely drought tolerant and hardy.
we have been pleasantly surprised by our staghorn sumac. it doesn't stand up to high winds very well. it's limbs are more dainty and break easily. but it always comes through in the fall. revealing beautiful yellows, oranges, and reds. it is definitely an eye stopper.
now to a very controversial plant in our household. the amur maple. i love it, jed does not. ours is in clump form (more like a bush). it had a hard trip this year. we had such a rainy summer causing it to get water logged and droopy. when it's seeds began to develop, it was again overwhelmed with heavy limbs (the kids and i helped it out by pulling them off and throwing them in the air causing them to spin like helicopters-it was a great game a month ago). though it does get kind of gangly looking, it always delivers. it has the most lovely bright red. which looks wonderful with the green contrast of our vinca on the hillside.
we love smoke trees. in the fall their color turns from a dazzling purple to a stunning maroon.
this year we have had an extra special gift from our yard. we planted 3 blue atlas cedars on our hillside 2 springs ago. i must say, everyone needs an evergreen in their yard. these in particular are stunning. they have a whimsical appearance, with very elegant limbs. and their blue-green needles add such a BAM to every landscape.
sorry i love this variety so much i could type about them forever, back to the special gift. our marvelous blue atlas cedars developed cones this year!!! it has been delightful watching them form the last few months.
i love autumn and the joy that it brings to my yard and my family. i hope that every fall will be as memorable as this one has been.