Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice
It's a great time of year when the pumpkin spice starts to show up in everything! Leaves are turning colour and falling, waiting to be raked into huge piles that can get kicked around and jumped by kids. The air is crisp and invigorating. And bright orange pumpkins are showing up on doorsteps, in planters and almost everywhere you can imagine! We love autumn!
Fall is also the time to put to bed our garden, clean our tools and hang them up, mulch and amend our beds and to treat our trees and shrubs for any pests and fungus that might overwinter. I, myself, usually wait until spring for pruning my shrubs, but if there are broken branches, you might want to take care of those now.
Autumn is also a perfect time to take note of any changes you might want to make to your landscape next spring. Grab your phone and take photos of your landscape for different directions and find a tape measure and size up the areas you want to work on. Having photos is a lot easier to work with than looking at a snow covered yard and trying to remember what is planted where! You have all winter to research and plan your ideas. It is also a brilliant idea to look at different apps like Houzz and Pintrest, just to name two of many, for inspiration. Take screen shots or start an idea board with your dreams and wishes. Often we look at photos that simply aren't practical for our climate or yard site BUT that doesn't mean that we can't be inspired and emulate a similar concept within our contraints. It's a time to imagine what CAN be not what can't. For example, growing a Japanese Maple here in Manitoba is a stretch since most are a zone 5 tree. BUT, you CAN grow a Korean Maple, which is a zone 3, for a similar effect! The leaf on the Korean Maple is not as delicate as a Japanese Maple but the cut of the leaf is beautiful and the fall colour is very pretty. Some folks use the 'Tiger Eye' Sumac trained as a tree for a Japanese Maple replacement, also hardy in zone 3. It also has a nice leaf cut and great fall colour. I think you probably get the idea.. get some inspiration and then research what plants will successfully grow in your yard.
KOREAN MAPLE JAPANESE MAPLE 'TIGER EYES' SUMAC
Looking at the photos above you can see that there can be replacements for tree / shrubs that aren't hardy in our zone... and they look great!
So, go get your self a pumpkin spice scone and a caramel latte, wrap a scarf around your neck and take a nice long walk around your outdoor space. Take some photos of the spaces you like and those which you want to improve. Let's take the time now, in the autumn, to get ourselves ready for our winter ahead. We can spend our dark winter days dreaming and designing our summer oasis, pulling ideas and photos from different sources and start sketching up some inspiration! After all, spring isn't as far away as you think!