To many in the Central Valley, November is the REAL beginning of Fall. October’s warm days keep us from breaking out the long sleeves and jackets, but the cooler days and sweater weather that come in November are the perfect time to dust off our crock-pots and soup recipes. It is also a time full of childhood memories of family dinners and visiting relatives. My grandparents lived a few miles away and the whole family would descend like a tornado to re-acquaint, reminisce and share our years experiences and accomplishments. It was a time to be thankful for one another, our health and the great food that was served.
Many plants bring back the same nostalgia the way food and family does. Like the blue Hydrangea bushes I remember by the front of my childhood home. What I didn't know then, but learned later on, was that this unique plant actually changes colors like Sleeping Beauty’s dress based on the soil it was planted in. If the pH was acidic, they were a brilliant blue, like the ones I remember. But a more alkaline soil resulted in delicate pink flower bunches.
Another plant that brings back memories is the Plantain Lily also known as Hostas. These oldies but goodies were popular for their heart shaped leaves and delicate pinkish-purple fall flowers. Even without their beautiful blooms this super hardy plant brings texture and color to shady areas.
My absolute favorite is the Sweet Olive (osmanthus fragrans). These small trees or large shrubs with clusters of beautiful tiny flowers bring the smell of apricot jam to my front porch year after year, always signaling that Fall— and Spring— have come. It’s my favorite way to begin and end my days.
With Fall, November and Thanksgiving around the corner many see this is a time to reflect on all of the reasons we should have gratitude, these seasonal plants also remind me to be grateful everyday. Grateful for my family and friends, my health, and each new opportunity and experience. And to be grateful for my work. The ability to be surrounded and engaged with nature every day.
All of us at Belmont Nursery are dedicated to bringing our love and dedication for what we do, from choosing what we grow to maintaining the health of the crops and helping you find the right plants and advice you need to grow your own memories one plant at a time.
- Shirlee Leckband-Johnson, ACCNP