(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 16, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)
In Romania, fall comes in September without a doubt: leaves turning, wind blowing, shorter days, milder sun...everything is on time, like a watch! I remember writing something like a weather journal for an ecology lesson in the second grade...it was fascinating! Every day I had to write down about how was the sky, if we had rain or snow, wind or not, how were the trees, plants, animals, birds...hey, this is what we are doing on Dave's Garden now! Someone once said that everything happens with a purpose, and I have to say he was right. Since then, I've loved watching Mother Nature changing the colors and the seasons. Fall is no longer that grey, ugly season I thought it was because I learned about why all these changes are happening.
Fall comes with chilly air, especially at night, and now the nights are longer now... so, less daylight too . Without enough light and warmth, the leaves can't produce the chlorophyl that makes them look green, so they are turning, each tree having its colors. Some are yellow, some are brown and the most beautiful turn red and rusty, looking like a flame! The funny thing is the colors have been there all along but covered by the green; as soon as the green isn't there anymore, the other colors show up!
On my walks in the park, I had the chance to see how the leaves are turning, day by day. I didn't know every tree's name at that time, but after researching them, I can now associate the names with the trees . They were there all along! The linden trees (Tilia cordata) are the first to show their yellow leaves in the fall...the linden allees in fall are like yellow tunnels with a yellow carpet inside...just stunning!
A yellow explosion shows up with the lindens. It's flashes of Fall gold (Fraxinus nigra)...like a real yellow flame!
The willow (Salix) is also one of the yellowish trees, looking sad over the lake.
Maples are everywhere in our country and they show such beautiful turning leaves : from yellow, to orange and red. The Norway Maples (Acer platanoides) show different turning leaves from the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum), which have so many colors at one time on every leaf.
With maple-shaped leaves, the London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia) leaves are turning from green to yellow, then brown, no red.
The English oaks (Quercus robur) are the most spectacular, some turning in yellow and brown, some in orange and red.
Sumacs are such beautiful ornamental trees and their turning leaves are really stunning!
The same mix of colors also appear in Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy'.
Chestnut trees (Aesculus hippocastanum) are showing yellow and brown, getting dry before turning.
Cotoneaster is a bush, not a tree, but also has beautiful turning leaves, from green to red.
Along the lake, conifers are turning and their needles are all over the ground, like a rusty carpet.
This tour of the park is over, but I'll be glad to start it all over again! Winter is coming, and these might be the last sunny days, but the colors of fall are so beautiful and make me happy. Let's all enjoy this fall and its colors!
Thanks to our DG friends Victorgardener, Zhinusmom and GardenGuyKin, for their beautiful pictures I used here.
If you want to learn more about leaves turning, you may check these links: