Autumn Larch

Larch in Autumn GardenOur native Larch is a tree I don’t see in gardens very often. All summer it’s a soft green, but in the autumn it turns brilliant gold for a short period before dropping its needles for the winter.

This larch is in Cynthia Krieble’s Ellensburg, Washington garden. It’s right out front where everyone passing by on the sidewalk or street can see it in a border of mixed conifers, drought-tolerant perennials, and grasses. Other plants visible in the photo include red-twig dogwood, Russian sage, and a juniper. Cynthia is an artist who gardens like she paints, mixing colors and textures in a varied palette. You can see some of her work at Linda Hodges Gallery.

I made the photo this afternoon when the sun peeked out from the thin, high clouds that moved in today. At this time of year the sun never gets very high in the sky, so even mid-afternoon light is low and dramatic. Backlighting enhances the texture and color in the needles. With the sun at my back the larch, while still attractive, was not nearly as exciting.

This was my fourth visit to Cynthia’s garden. Photos from the others are at Inland Northwest Gardening.

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