When thinking about vivid autumn foliage, I focus on red and orange. But then a reader wrote about her beautiful yellow larch, and that made me turn around and see (hiding in plain sight) my gorgeous yellow ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba, Zone 5). The ginkgo has the best autumn yellow in my garden—a bright and cheery glow that stands out from other faded plants.
The ginkgo is a pleasing tree in all seasons, and truth be known, I have two. (You might have guessed that I seldom buy one of anything, especially when two is better!) It’s drought hardy, tolerant of all soils and doesn’t mind air pollution. What I like best is the unusual arrangement of foliage sprouting from the wood and outlining the branches. You don’t get a lot of dense twiggy growth with ginkgos—as they say down on the farm, a robin can fly right through the crown. This makes it an interesting architectural subject that fits almost any place, including perennial beds. I can plant all around it with no root interference, and the branches don’t make too much shade. One of my ginkgos is in love with a ‘Clair Matin’ climbing rose that sprawls all through it for support. I put the second ginkgo at the top of the path between my house and a neighbour. It shot right up and made wasted space into a pretty garden entrance. In time the bark becomes striped, providing a good winter feature.
Ginkgos have been found in rock fossils dating back 200 million years. Can you imagine how many autumns of yellow display that is?
Other posts by Judith this week:
Posts by Judith last week: