It’s been a busy season. The summer has flown by and like many people I spent far less time in my garden than I would have liked. Fortunately, the fall weather has been fantastic for planting and I am still taking advantage of it!

My second tree is finally in the ground and I think it looks terrific! For the somewhat sunnier side of the yard, I’ve chosen a Japanese Red Maple. Acer palmatum “Red Emperor” is a beautiful, fast-growing tree, maturing at about 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. The leaves develop later in the spring than other species and this helps the tree avoid damage from late spring frost. The brilliant red foliage of this variety will last throughout the summer, then warm up to an incredible crimson red late in the fall. At maturity, this beauty will provide just the right amount of shade over my patio while remaining small enough to fit the scale of my cozy backyard retreat.

No garden is complete without a strong evergreen foundation. Winters are long in Connecticut and planning for four-season interest is very important to me. I walk through my garden at least twice every day on my way to and from work and I love to sit by the window on a cold winter’s day, sipping a hot cup of tea and enjoying my cozy outdoor space from inside my warm home.

On the other side of the fence in my neighbor’s yard is a tall blue Colorado Spruce. I wanted to echo the color of my neighbor’s tree but not the size, so I planted a Blue Globe Spruce (Picea pungens “Glauca Globosa) on the south-facing side of the yard. This delightful globe-shaped dwarf evergreen shrub will slowly grow to about 5 feet tall and possibly 6 feet wide over time but this will take many years. The Spruce prefers full sun and fortunately, this location is sunny all day long. It’s deer resistant and the steely blue foliage creates an excellent contrast in front of the rich red Japanese maple.

Closer to the walkway and a little bit to the left of the maple is another new addition to the garden that goes by the name of Goldilocks. This Dwarf Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Goldilocks’) is a multi-stemmed slow-growing evergreen with a gracious sweeping habit. The long, soft bluish-green needles are frosted with gold and the color won’t quit during the long winter months.

We have nearly reached the end of October but the weather and soil temperature are still great for planting! I’m hoping to add a few perennials before putting the garden to bed for the winter. I can’t wait to see how the things I’ve planted this year look next spring and I’m already planning and dreaming of the new additions that will come next year.

Happy Gardening!