Three Reasons Fall in LA Could Win-Out Over Spring
November 2021. By Eric Crow: Los Angeles is known for its springtime aesthetic and for maintaining its spring-like beauty year round. Even Angelenos buy into the branding. When New York, Chicago, Denver begin to tout their fall color, Angelenos raise our guard and speak to fall dormancy and fire defensive landscapes. Yet, there is a strong case for allowing ourselves to fall for autumn.
Berries vs. Blooms
Berries don’t just feed us and the birds – they can be as beautiful as blooms. And they last! While Toyon is known for its bright-red Christmas Berry phase, its berries begin green and transform from yellow to orange as temperatures cool, signaling the start of fall. Similarly, Lemonade and Sugar Berries will keep producing for months on end, and they make for beautiful cut holiday arrangements.
When Angelenos do discuss fall color, fall-blooming foliage like Indian Mallow and California Fuchsia capture attention – it is delightful that so many native plants do bloom around now. Yet, we also have foliage that changes color with the seasons. Gardens with (California native) Oregon or Roger’s Red Grape, Western Redbud, and Sycamore will have the mahogany, cranberry, bronze, gold and yellows that signal the approach of the holidays.
A garden with great bones will grow in character, evolving throughout the seasons. Autumn invites us to revel in that growth and in our senses. We may notice that the fragrance of Coyote Mint, Cowboy Perfume and the salvias remain when their blooms fade. We pause to listen to the birdsong brought to our doorsteps by shrubs full of berries. As structural pruning returns greenery to its most architectural aesthetic, we have the opportunity to see an old love with new eyes.
Whether or not autumn in LA competes with our spring, it certainly competes with autumn elsewhere. The key to falling for fall in LA is wrapping ourselves in California native foliage as the temperatures cool.