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Ode to October


We live on Vancouver Island in Western Canada. On eastern side of the Island and about 40 minutes drive from Capital City of this province Victoria.
We live in rural area on 8 forested acres with 3 dominant old trees: Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) , Western Red cedar and Arbutus menziesii (Pacific Madrona)
October, around our property is my second favourite month of the year . MAY being the first. Some people find fall (autumn) sad but for me it is like kissing my child good night as I know it will wake up in the spring refreshed and glorious. Misbehaved in times.

General view from our deck and also dining room and kitchen in October

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) on a retaining wall in October

It is not a true ivy, it belongs to the same family as grapes. It looses all the leaves after this spectacular colour in October

a detail of leaves

During the summer our views are mainly green until October when our Bigleaf maples (Acer macrophyllum) start to shine. This tree is native to this area and extremely fast grower. I am their big fan but my OH is not. Over the time some mysteriously disappeared.

View towards southeast.

it is the largest maple species in North America. Their leaves are up to 12" wide

View in the front over the fountain and the lawn to the SE . Bigleaf maples here are framed by Red Cedar trees.

few Japanese maples:
Japanese maple Crimson Queen will eventually turn fiery orange. Potted Osakazuki in the distnce

Japanese maple Atropurpureum

Young Fern-Leaf Maple Aconitifolium (‘Maiku jaku’ or dancing peacock )



Lacy Japanese Maple Villa Toranto.

Japanese maple Butterfly can brighten the darker spot

JM ‘Sango-kaku (Coral bark)…. leaves in October
This maple puts on real show in winter with it’s orange branches. Such dominant presence in winter.

Another red acer Atropurpureum

Japanese maple Joardan
This maple has vivid chartreuse leaves in early spring.

Down in the valley (hundred yards from our house toward the ocean) I grow some grapes ….for birds mainly. Had few more plants in the past, but it is deer’s favourite snack. Right now the colour of their leaves is bright yellow. There is also a small orchard which is lovely sight in the early spring.

Ortega grapes:

15 years ago I planted a crab apple tree Red sentinel on edge of the forest . Unfortunately, none of my birds care for it. Not even squirrels, they like big apples. So it is there just looking pretty. I make crab apple jelly ones in a blue moon.
It is a huge tree now.

Viburnum plicatum tomentosum ‘Mariesii’
This is very visible tree on the property right at the end of our driveway coming down.
It is beautiful in both seasons, when it is blooming and when the leaves turn red.

Another view on a rainy day

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (Redbud) with a Bigleaf behind. I do not have luck with this beautiful tree. So far so good but every spring I hold my breath as they sleep longer than most other trees.

Heart shape leaf detail

I put Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) at the beginning of a forest path. I left it in a pot because of the massive roots of a large fir ….it is mostly invisible during summer but shines there in October

Small Orchard by the greenhouse (potting hut) with Bigleaf trees shining through

Shin-deshojo Japanese maple.
The best colour of this tree is in the spring…not fall but still pretty at this time of the year.

Leaves of Cornus Florida Cherokee chief.
Also beautiful in spring.

Colourful fallen leaves of maple and flowering plum

Changing leaves of Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Red Fox’
This tree is changing colour of it’s leaves few times during the year and smells like a burning sugar when the leaves are starting to fall.

Cotinus (Smoke bush) has a glorious color in October

And our colourful garden friends
Downy woodpecker

The Steller Jay with its deep blue and black plumage and shaggy crest is a stunning and attractive bird, but very noisy. A pair of them fully adopted us.

Anna’s hummingbirds stay with us all winter.

I have few flowers still blooming but for me OCTOBER is all about changing leaf colours. I just wish the rains would stay away for couple more weeks.

“I am so glad I live in a world where are Octobers”

L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables

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stunning colours and feathered friends. you have a beautiful collection of trees.

18 Oct, 2020


Such a beautiful part of the world. I love autumn too, my favorite season. Amazing how quickly it came upon us though - time for warm apple pie and coffee - that's how I keep warm up, lol! Some of your pictures are postcard perfect.

19 Oct, 2020


Thank you SBG for your nice comment.

Bathgate, I will be baking lots of apple pies.We had a decent crop but most of it will be juiced. Thanks for your compliments on my pictures.

19 Oct, 2020


How I envy you the space and outlook. It looks awesome. The older trees are so beautiful and the acers are stunning! I would definitely volunteer to wash up in your kitchen, Klahanie. Thanks for posting.

19 Oct, 2020


Beautiful Klahanie. Seeing this blog I'm glad you came back to us. Stunning garden and wonderful collection of japanese acers.

19 Oct, 2020


You have many lovely trees which give some wonderful colours, and a nice view too.

19 Oct, 2020


You have a wonderful garden, K...such interesting birds too.
The setting must be idyllic.

19 Oct, 2020


This was an interesting read for me as my younger daughter plans to settle in Canada after she joins her Canadian partner in December. It sounds as if the trees and the colours are wonderful. They will be living initially in Union Bay, so presumably the flora and fauna will be similar to yours. I hope to visit sometime and see for myself!
ps I absolutely loved the LM Montgomery books about Anne of Green Gables when I was growing up.

19 Oct, 2020


I love the feel of open spaces and long distance views, Anget. We have only about couple of acres of open area and the rest is an old growth forest with a thick (and sometimes impenetrable) undergrowth of Oregon grape( Mahonia aquifolium), salal(Gaultheria shallon ) and Sword fern (Polystichum munitum). ...which really thrives here and drives me crazy. I pull thousands of seedlings out every year.
And BTW....if you ever look for job in this area....there is always my kitchen waiting. LOL.

Thanks for your input.

19 Oct, 2020


Thank you for your kind words Thorneyside.

19 Oct, 2020


Thank you Hywel and Medowland. We love our setting here.

19 Oct, 2020


Penny, it is a beautiful country up there in Comox Valley.
If your daughter loves nature she will be in heaven.

Ps. she can always "slide" down to Victoria for little bit of British flavour.

19 Oct, 2020


Fabulous garden and beautiful collection of acers, Klahanie!
Agree with Paul, your photos are like picturesque postcards.
The wildlife you have visiting your garden are just striking! Bird envy indeed! 😊
Your grape vine and fruit trees are a real treat, really healthy produce. Your blog, while reading it, really evoked autumn to a tee! I do love this season for the colours and the cosy evenings..I’m a November child, so I’m drawn to the season. Love Halloween and Guy Fawkes night...
Thank you for sharing all your lovely pics!

19 Oct, 2020


Thank you Kate for commenting on this blog.
Your birthday is coming, best wishes and virtual hugs from me in advance. XXX

19 Oct, 2020


I'm so envious of your garden Klahanie it's stunning so much vibrant colour and the views are fantastic you can't help feeling cheered up by your spectacular photos ,I love the Autumn to I feel like a squirrel preparing for the winter collecting and putting away produce for the coming months ... Keep safe ..

20 Oct, 2020


Thank you Amy. Seems like you grow lots of produce. Good for you. Nothing tastes better than home grown.

20 Oct, 2020


Wonderful photos. We stayed with friends in Vancouver and had a lovely weekend on Vancouver Island in a cabin at the water’s edge. They have a daughter who lives on the island.

21 Oct, 2020


Thanks for your comment Linda.
Glad to hear that you spent a lovely weekend on this Island.

21 Oct, 2020


I 've really enjoyed your blog Kh. The maples are stunning & so is that Stella Jay. How I'd love to see one in my garden! However, our jays make a very raucous noise also. You are lucky having the sea as well as all that space. Thank you for sharing it all with us.

23 Oct, 2020


Thanks you very much for your comment Feverfew.
Our views are beautiful but our land is all on the hill and heavily forested so not so easy to garden.
Hope all is well with you X

23 Oct, 2020


Wow, what a magnificent garden you have kalhanie, I love trees and as already mentioned Autumn is my season, the joy it’s given me had made me speechless for a while, but having been dazzled by your garden I am able to write, I love Boston ivy and it looks great snaking along that wall with the ocean as a backdrop, just a shame that Boston ivy colours so magnificently and falls very quick, it’s been a joy to see your garden, you have given lots of thought on the planting so a big high five from me.

23 Oct, 2020


Thank you Julian for your kind words. The Boston Ivy is covering old concrete wall and it's leaves are pretty enough even during summer. There is a 4-5 feet drop between upper and lower part which is not obvious from my picture.
Soon all the leaves from all maples will be gone and we will see only the silhouettes for few months. I keep some of the leaves to cover my peonies and irises over winter.
Thanks again and keep safe.

23 Oct, 2020

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