This fall has been a really nice one for Chinese pistachios, red oaks, sweetgums and ornamental pears -- and for the maples in our landscape. (See certified arborist Bill Seaman's insightful story on why leaves turn colors, along with his list of the most reliable types. It's right here in e-gardens this issue!)
What you're seeing is actually the edge of our landscape, to the west of our driveway and courtyard, looking out into the pecan forest that surrounds our rural home.
That's a colorful Japanese maple to the left and a fairly uncommon chalk maple to the right. And, assorted greenery, including the English ivy that climbs a red oak's trunk to the right (no harm to the tree), leatherleaf mahonias in the foreground and Nellie R. Stevens hollies peeking out in the background, and a ground-covering of regular mondograss. That odd blue structure is, you guessed it, my bottle tree. Much to the consternation of my dear wife, it's one of three bottle trees in our gardens. And, finally, if you look really closely, in the foreground you will also see two decorative pieces of wrought iron that I found years ago in that fun sales yard near the big grain elevators in downtown old Frisco.
When you're landscaping a fairly large area, it's useful to draw boundaries, and that's the function of this particular planting. It's quite rustic in its appearance, but it blocks the view southwest toward our county road and northwest to my greenhouse. Plus, it provides a bit of enclosure and intimacy when we want to entertain on our combination Pavestone driveway/courtyard.
Hope you've enjoyed the little tour.