The year 2014 has raced by faster than any other in my memory; it seems way too early to have AUTUMN appear for real as well as on the calendar. Ready or not, all the signs arrived in very convincing ways like continual rain, a record-breaking early freeze, more rain and cooler temps staying longer than usual. So many of my friends and family, both young and old, agreed that this year has “flown by”!
Live oaks predominate at Charles Towne Landing, and the tree leaves are predominantly green year round. There are not many trees that show color and shed their leaves. A few red maples do. The area around the Animal Forest entrance has several Ginkgo trees. These trees turn a beautiful yellow and then shed their leaves. The early freeze shortened their show this year.
The blooming of the Sweet Grass is an extended autumn show which is very welcome and surprising because of the incredibly hot pink color of the flowers. The early freeze did not appear to damage or shorten their blooming period. Sunshine enhances the depth of the hot pink color, and there were fewer sunshiny days; the Sweet Grass did its best to “show off” anyway.
There are a couple of orange trees near the Cassique statue. These trees offer their oranges with their vibrant color to the Autumn scene. Don’t try to eat one; it is an unpleasant experience. Just enjoy looking at their special colorful offering.
There are a few Tea Olive trees near the Legare-Waring House. They are responsible for one of the most pleasant experiences in the Park. Their leaves remain green all year. However, during the months with an “r” in the name, September through April, the tree blooms with a tiny white flower exuding an exquisite fragrance. Your nose discovers the “wonderful smell” and you immediately have to search for the source which is nearby, but not immediately obvious.
Camellias begin blooming in late September. There are a lot of camellias planted in Charles Towne Landing. There are varieties that wait until December or January to begin their show. They bloom until the azaleas bloom in early spring.
Autumn brings color; colors that are dramatic and brilliant and special.
–by Betty P. White – 11/29/2014
Friends of Charles Towne Landing