When I bought this little Victorian I planted a copper beech in the back garden. For years it cast just the smallest shadow. I was constantly moving my lawn chair around it to stay in that bit of shade. It had been my dream to have an old house with a shade tree to sit under in the summer.
Since finding this little old house I've had moments when the thought of a well designed condo downtown with an umbrella on the patio, or balcony, seemed a much more rational ideal. However, since v and I have been together we have turned this once barely functional house into a beautiful, albeit tiny, home.
The beech tree has grown into a beauty that provides so much more than just shade on a summer afternoon. Leafless through the winter, its leaf buds begin to swell in late February until one morning we wake to find the fledgling leaves have opened and are sunning the way a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis.
The leaves start out a pale coppery color and darken to the deep purple/red of mid-summer. In the autumn they fade to copper again and fall creating a thick crunchy carpet over half of the garden mixing with the leaves of the ginko growing a few feet away.
When conditions are right, and they were this past fall, the copper leaves of the beech and the bright yellow of the ginko combine with the backlighting of the setting sun to create an airborne tapestry viewed from our kitchen and bedroom windows. When I planted those two trees that was the effect I was looking for, but at the time there were no windows looking out from house to the garden, just a narrow stoop to sit on. So much has changed.
For another version of this photo click on Biondography and let us know what you think.
In bocca al lupo. m & v