When we lived just 30 miles down the hill in Sacramento we didn’t really have fall. If you had a maple or liquidamber tree in your yard, it would change color, but for the most part the leaves were green one day, brown the next and on the ground the next. This is our second autumn at the Buck ‘n Run Ranch and this one hasn’t disappointed. Some of our fall colors are courtesy of borrowed landscape, or that which lies over the neighbor’s fence.
I first heard of the term “borrowed landscape” from the wildly popular gardening book, Plants are People Too, by Jerry Baker, published in the 1970’s. We had just purchased our first home, a small tract house, for $19,000.00. I bought the book months before the house was completed, read and re-read it many times over, dreaming of flower beds and a huge vegetable garden. This is the book that had me out with the rising sun every morning tapping the trunk of a spindly fruitless mulberry with a baseball bat. The theory was that the blows from the bat loosened things up, allowing sap, water and nutrients to flow, thus making the tree grow faster and stronger. At least that is the theory as I remember it. I do believe it worked, and that being said I want to extend my sincerest apologies to the subsequent owners of the little tract house. Mulberry leaves will stay on the tree until one day in the fall when the entire tree will drop all of its leaves. It has been determined to be one of the worst pollen producers and can be hazardous to those with allergies. Mulberries tends to have large roots that grow near to or above the surface of the ground which can lift foundations and sidewalks. Watch your step!
Wow, did I ever digress? I’m old. It happens.
Anyway, fast forward forty years to November at the Buck ‘n Run Ranch. I still have a fruitless Mulberry right next to my house. It stands there, mocking me, waiting for the day it drops all it’s leaves at once, laughing at the new asphalt, so very close to it’s roots.
But aside from the mulberry, we have been blessed this year with a truly beautiful fall show of colors. We even have fall colored chicks hatching! We don’t have the urge to get in the car and drive to find fall. We have only to look out any window in the house.