We have had the most unusual November week here in the UK. High temperatures ( up to 22C in mid Wales last Sunday ) and foggy mornings followed by sunny afternoons, lots of warm rain through the night and very little wind. November around here in North West England is often very cold with gale force winds. People need to wear warm coats, scarves and daft hats with waterproof boots. This year the atmosphere is calm and the cold snap that usually arrives in October still hasn’t materialised. It’s cardigan weather.
In the garden most of the trees are still in full leaf. In particular our oak trees are still green and lush. Most trees have slipped into their autumn clothes. Trees that have provided a background of green all summer suddenly spring into the foreground with splashes of orange, red and yellow attracting our attention. There is no wind and no frost so most of these colourful leaves are staying firmly fixed in place.
One tree that is particularly striking right now is Gilkgo biloba. You may know it as the Maidenhair tree. It has leaves similar to Maidenhair ferns. In spring Ginkgos have fresh green fan shaped leaves which turn a beautiful shade of buttery yellow in autumn. It grows wild in China and is a survivor from life 200 million years ago. Ginkgos are tall narrow trees and are sometimes used as street trees between tall buildings in cities because they can cope with hot summer temperatures. They also make a good tree for a private garden too. Ginkgos grow to about 25 metres/75 feet tall and take 20 years to reach maturity.
I found this specimen growing locally and was completely wowed by the stunning combination of yellow leaves contrasting with clear blue sky.
It also looks good on a grey day too!
When you are choosing trees to plant in your garden it makes sense to think about their autumn colour as well as their eventual height and spread. If you plant specimens with distinctive leaf shapes and colours you may be able to see something like this every autumn. This is a Beech tree Fagus sylvatica ‘Riversii’ growing in front of Ginkgo biloba.
Now they are most definitely Looking Good! What’s looking good in your garden or neighbourhood this week?
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