Last year about this time I shot photographs of homes in Land Park -- just as the sun was beginning to sink into the horizon -- which cast a glow among the shadows and fallen leaves. This time I chose a more intimate view. In fact, you might be amazed to know that every single feature was found in my very own yard in Land Park.
For those of you outside of California, this is a bird of paradise. It grows like weeds and consistently produces new flowers after the dead foliage is cut away. These flowers attract a lot of ants, so if you're going to bring it indoors, rinse it thoroughly with the garden hose. And whatever you do, don't poke it in your eye.
Cone flowers are a perennial. It's a member of the Asteraceae/Compositae family (asters and daisies). This Echinacea blooms from late summer into fall and attracts butterflies.
Fuschias are a magical flower, almost fairy like. People say they are hard to grow, but I've had great success with my plants, which are about four-feet tall and thrive in the shade provided by the north side of my home.
Leaves are scattered among the color in this flower bed, which is a mix of climbing geraniums and purple accent flowers. These types of flowers make an excellent ground cover for those small areas of the yard that could use a bit of color.
My husband bought me this bird feeder. Its unique shape keeps out squirrels. Typical visitors are red finches, goldfinches and warblers, and the occasional white-crowned sparrow who travels through the yard about this time of year.
You can see the rose garden could use weeding, but the roses are still blooming. This will be the last show of roses until spring. Early January, I will prune the garden, just before they begin to bud.
In some ways, fall is a sad time of year because so many living things whither and die. Part of my yard is already littered with fallen leaves from our elm tree. Soon the elm tree will be naked.
These flowers belong to the daisy family. They bloom from mid-Spring throughout summer and into fall. That green plant in the center is a weed. In some parts of the country, they call it a houseplant.
Some people cut their hydrangeas and hang them up to dry in the fall. I give them an acidic fertilizer to turn them blue, but many are purple or pink anyway. The plant is too large to adequately distribute the fertilizer into the soil. It hardly ever needs water, which makes hydrangea a good choice for gardeners who want a hassle-free plant.
Our Japanese eggplant are still growing. I can't believe the mass quantity in the garden right now. These are yummy sliced on the vertical, then crisscrossed sliced (just to the skin), sprinkled with salt, stuffed with bits of garlic, drizzled with olive oil and grilled.
Our little orange tree was about four-feet tall six years ago when it was planted. Today, it is 15-feet high and produces a ton of delicious naval oranges, which are typically ready for picking in late December, early January.
I don't recall the name of this flower, but it's madly producing blooms in a large pot bordered by alyssum. I imagine these are of an Asian origin, and they love full sun.
This raised flower bed is near my front door and situated in the shade, which makes the environment perfect for coleus and begonias. The intensity of light helps give coleus its colors. If it doesn't succumb to frost, coleus will come back in the spring.
OK, technically, these red cannas are not in my yard. They are over the fence in my neighbor's yard, but we do have red cannas on the east side of our yard. Unfortunately, those are smaller and have died back, but these cannas are six-feet tall.
Our rosemary bush is dotted with purple flowers. I might have to remove it from the garden next year because it is too big. You can strip the rosemary from the bark and use the bare stick as a skewer for grilling vegetables.
Serranos are one of the last vegetables in the garden to give up the fight for life. If you look closely, you can see how many green serranos are still growing. It takes a while for them to turn red, and I eat them raw. I'm a hot pepper aficionado.
The tomato garden is a tangled mess. Jasmine is intertwined with the tomatoes. Our crop of yellow cherry tomatoes was abundant this year; we couldn't pick them fast enough. These are little golden jewels that melt in your mouth.
You'd almost expect to see this photo labeled a "what is this" contest picture because many people don't know what it is. It's a strawberry tree, and yes, those strawberries turn red and are edible. But they don't taste like strawberries. They're kinda bitter. Good for making jam.
And this is one of the few remaining yellow roses. I sold a home to clients who didn't like roses. Their back-yard fence was lined with roses; so I rented a truck, dug them up and planted them in my own yard. Thanks for the roses, Dave and Diane!
I hope you have enjoyed the fall tour of my yard in Land Park! I pay just as much attention to detail when I'm working for Land Park home sellers and buyers, too. Please call me if you need a seasoned and experienced real estate agent in Sacramento: 916.233.6759.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub
The Short Sale, by Elizabeth Weintraub, from Archer Ellison coming in January 2009.