Tillotson Road in Avon CT is one of the more picturesque roads in the Farmington Valley. Recently, a Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) caught my eye as I soaked in Tillotson’s autumn splendor!
How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun. At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
— Elsie N. Brady
Today was a gorgeous October day here in southern New England, so I took the camera out, walked around and captured some of the natural beauty of our yard.
Early spring is the time to get a glimpse of Barberries invasiveness, but now, in Autumn, is the time for Burning Bush. Sold for years as for it’s red foliage in the fall, Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus compactus) is used everywhere. It is planted next to bridges on the highway, used a a splash of color in the mixed border, and ironically widely used as a staple of the woodland garden because of its shade tolerance.
Ironic, because it is here in the woodland, that Burning Bush poses the biggest problem. Thriving wthout the threat of major disease or pests, Burning Bush spreads fast and covers the forest floor, shading out the meager streams of light so needed by the native vegetation. It so thoroughly infests, that it effectively limits the diversity of flora, and in turn the fauna that make a healthy ecosystem.
Next time you think you need a plant with great red fall color, I hope you will turn your back on the Burning Bush for something equally as impressive, but not aggressive. Consider the elegant Enkianthus, or one of my personal favorites, and a great native, High Bush Blueberry. Ooh I can almost taste the blueberry cobler now……
Enjoy the Autumn color!