How things sparkled at our house this morning! Yes, that is a sugar maple in our front yard - backed up by a ginko. They were planted in the fall of 2000. The maple lost its leader to an ice storm in about 2004 (see Fall Colors at Cop Car's for a look at the maple during "recovery"); but, look how beautifully the tree has regained its shape - without our help!
Below is shown a small section of the creeping (Blue Chip) junipers, next to the curbing.
There are a few clumps of (Cooper's and Jewel of the Desert Rosequartz) iceplant that I interspersed among the Blue Chip junipers - planted in 2011 and 2012.
I've split the posting only to decrease initial downloading times.
In front of the dining room and my den windows are chokeberry bushes. (I no longer recall what kind.)
The mums that line the front sidewalk are blooming well, this fall. The drought that prevailed for the past three years, including the first several months of 2013, naturally set back the blooming time. I did almost no pinching-off of buds to delay blooming, this year.
In the photo, below, the blossoms in the upper left hand corner are roses, rather than mums.
I like the bronze mums - especially as punctuation for the violet-hued mums. Most of the mums were planted in 2009 and 2010.
Our weather forecasters have been so reliable about forecasting times/temperatures (it reached about 30 degrees F, for only a few hours this morning) that I did not bother insulating the irrigation system's backflow valve standpipe assembly. I may still have to do, as Hunky Husband is delaying winterization of the system for another two weeks. Most years (all, I think!), I have had to insulate - for the first several years by inverting a plastic wastepaper basket over the standpipe, then swathing in layers of old draperies and plastic. One year, HH even insisted that I include a heating pad! For the past few years, I've settled for heaping 3-cubic-foot bags of mulch about/atop the standpipe which is only a couple of inches from the brick of the house.