Burnett: Autumn colour show offers rare treat for area residents

I often hear complaints from gardeners who move here that our fall colours are not as spectacular as back east.

I often hear complaints from gardeners who move here from Ontario and Quebec that the fall colour on deciduous trees is not as spectacular as it is back east. Most years, they are correct in that observation, but not this fall as we are getting a once in a decade fall colour show in our valley. The Acer rubrum Autumn Blaze A. rubrum Autumn Spire are two maples that are putting on a spectacular display. The City of Kelowna has several of these trees, visible if you take a drive down Guisachan between Ethel and the roundabout at Burtch. You will see some beautiful red oak trees as well. Contrasting nicely with the red is the bright golden yellow from the Gingko biloba. Every fall this arrangement is pleasing to the eye but this year is especially nice. Unfortunately, I’m seeing in the weather forecast we will be getting our first hard frost in the next few days. That will cause the leaves to drop rapidly so that part of the fall colour show will be over for another year. The one exception is the oak, which will hold on to its foliage until spring when the buds open forcing the leaves to finally drop. Other species such as the Hornbeam and beech have a similar habit. The colour show we are experiencing is not limited to the deciduous trees. The Pyracantha is displaying an abundance of orange berries this year, seemingly more so than previously. And the burning bush, cranberries and beauty berry are equally as enjoyable. *** As winter approaches, it is time to think about some of the tender plant material you may wish to keep inside. I have a huge dark leafed banana which will not survive the first killing frost. I have put it in a large container so it is portable and I will bring it in and out as the weather dictates. Eventually as the cold sets in for good, I will give it a home in my workshop, where it will get enough light and stay comfy but a bit dusty for a few months. *** I want to make a correction to something I said in last week’s column on dogs and cats in the garden. The statement, “They seldom do their business on lawns but will not if the lawn is dry” should have read, “…they will if the lawn is dry.” Amazing how one word will change the meaning of a sentence entirely. *** As most of you know, I was born and raised in this beautiful city. My parents came here in the 1920s and ’30s, therefore I have a sense of where we’ve been, what we’ve done and a hope and vision of where we are going. One of the ways we can all participate in the future of our city is to get out and vote in the coming civic election, Nov. 19, and I encourage you to do so. Tune in to The Don Burnett Garden Show on AM 1150 Saturdays from 8 to 10 a.m.

Kelowna Capital News