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We’ve heard it said that there are two types of gardeners: those who are busy planting bulbs in the fall and those who head out into the wilds to enjoy the wondrous autumn sites. We lean towards the second “happy wanderer” group. When our dogwood tree begins to sprout scarlet berries and the leaves turn crimson – the first signs of autumn here in the South – you’ll find us donning our hiking boots and heading for the trails.

It’s not that we don’t love anticipating the splashes of yellow daffodils and lavender hyacinths coming up in the spring, but there’s something in us that yearns to take in what nature is giving us right now. Our garden-designer soul is nourished by the sight of velvety emerald moss on a gnarly log peeking through a puddle of burgundy and gold maple leaves, or a still pond that mirrors pumpkin-colored trees against an azure sky. This is where we receive our inspirations for the gardens we create. By capturing the colors, textures, scents and sounds that nature gives us during each season, we can cultivate them in our clients’ backyards for year-round enjoyment.

When you go out into the woods or a wild meadow to enjoy the colors of fall, notice what strikes you. You’ll know when something is creating an impact because all at once you’ll become very still inside. Take a moment and question what has caused this sensation. Perhaps it’s the way water is playing on the stones in a stream. Or maybe it’s the interaction of the color harmonies of autumn leaves against the bark of trees. It could be the way a small slender tree contrasts with a lower mass of shrubs.

You can bring this same sensation back to your home garden by recreating the details that made an impact on you. By creating a pond in a corner of your yard, you literally reproduce the ponds found in the wilds. Or instead, you can make a similar effect by taking a ceramic container and filling it with water and lilies. This way, you parallel the element instead of recreating it.

Likewise, you can take the colors that pleased you on your excursion in the wild and let them inspire your planting bed color schemes. The plants that you find are best left where they are in their indigenous surroundings; for your home garden, you can use different plants that have a similar appearance, or the same types of plants raised in nurseries. Learn more about this in our article titled, Recreating Nature's Woodland Paradise in Your Own Backyard.

You can use water, stone, wood and plants to evoke your favorite places in nature. When you do this, you make a uniquely personal garden.

This autumn, we’re going to enjoy every minute as our garden transitions from the heat and humidity of summer to the cool breezes of autumn. Spring will come in due time.

On to the garden …

Gaye and Peter