The Orange Tip

Tag: fall

The Wood Beyond


Parkdale, Toronto

Parkdale, Toronto

A recent written commission took me across the water to the cities of Toronto and Detroit. Although the two occupy separate countries, they share their regional territory with an ancient woodland: the Carolinian forest. Much of this once sprawling and prolific disiduous wood has sadly been lost, 90% in fact. Originally spreading across America, climbing North-West from the Carolinas into southern Ontario, Canada, sadly now only pockets can be found: those baring the original broadleafed footprint of the true Carolinian forest.

Having undertaken the otherwise strictly-urban commission in prime-time, fully swung, brightly glowing autumn, making a few dashed escapades into the surrounding woods was something I couldn’t have resisted. More images on the AWAY page.

Leaves upwards2

Maple Leaves


This Autumn brought a period of relief in the garden; where for brief moments the rain stopped and the clouds dissipated and the season behaved in the manner in which we all hoped it would. Given that we lost out on an entire Autumn last year; when the leaves seemed to reach the ground before they had a chance to turn, together with a closely following warm Winter and wet Summer, the colours we’ve had this time round have been all the more welcome. It’s safe to say that, in those rain-free moments, the Autumn show this year has been incredible. All up and down the country the views from September have been impressively rich in reds, oranges, yellows and browns. Beeches, poplars, oaks, hazels, hawthorns and, perhaps most significantly, the Acers (sycamore, norway and field maples etc) all formed dramatic impressions along the landscape.

At the garden back in Richmond our beacon has been the huge Norway maple overlooking the top meadow. Over the last couple of months from it’s initial gradual turn to the last few leaves to drop, I’ve been stunned by the impression it’s made on the garden. My notebook is full with the detailing of these changes, and at its peak in mid morning sun low over the field, the tree literally glowed as if the light came from within. The yellow of the Norway maple in Autumn is really quite remarkable, and has made me stop and look many, many times while at work in the garden.