Nothing is as magical as the Maple Border of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens in Autumn.
These 2 photos of the Maple Border at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens were taken towards the end of April when the brilliance of autumn colour was at it's best. And before the crimsons, magenta and violet colours of the Hydrangeas faded. Notice how the vertical solid structures of the grey tree trunks and branches contrast so well with the airy crimsons and golden greens of the maple foliage as they turn colour. And how this in turn enhances the green underplanting.
We have enjoyed an especially long and colourful autumn this year, and even now, at the end of May going into June when we are only 3 weeks away from the shortest day, the colour is still there allbeit thinner and more subdued
By the end of May when these photos were taken, we can see how the foliage has thinned out, leaving the shapes and structures of the tree trunks to show up more starkly with wider views of the sky between. The richness of magenta and violet hydrangeas has faded to muted pinks and browns as early frosts have bleached the colour from them. Even though we think the change is a gradual one, we can see here that the turn of the seasons is quite dramatic. In another month it will be even more dramatic when there will be nothing but the greys and browns of bare deciduous trees silhouetted against the pink haze of frosty skies.
The maples in this border are varying cultivars of the Acer palmatum which is native to Japan. It makes one yearn to see the colourful hillsides of Japan in autumn. Although I am perfectly happy with this little slice of japanese woodland we have right here in Christchurch.