Garden Photo of the Day

Happy Thanksgiving! 2014

Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) are regular visitors to our woodland garden. While they are roosting high in the oak trees for protection we hear their mellow vibrato gobbling. This male holding his chest high, head drawn back, wing tips dragging, and tail feathers spread in a magnificent fan struts in a timeless ritual designed to lure female turkeys to his private harem.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Even if you’re not in the US, the greeting stands–we’re thankful for you, too! We’ve spent the last two Thanksgivings with Irvin and Pauline Faria out in Carmichael, California (HERE & HERE), so I was so happy to see Irvin’s latest installment in my inbox last week. He says, “Oh my, time appears to have passed at light speed. Once again, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! A special thank you to Michelle for her wonderful creative format for displaying our gardens. Her continued excellence and enthusiasm for gardening is very much appreciated. We continue to gain inspiration for our garden’s plantings and care from all of you who so willingly take the time to share your wonderful garden landscapes.
With these photos we want to share a kaleidoscope of autumn hues and nature’s beauty as expressed in the wild turkey, young doe, and magnificent buck. We extend our best wishes to all for a wonderful Thanksgiving. Let there be peace in the world.” Thank YOU, Irvin and Pauline! Have a wonderful day, everyone.

SEND ME PICS OF YOUR GARDEN, OR A GARDEN YOU’VE VISITED! Email me at [email protected] Thanks! –Michelle

Want to get the GPOD delivered to your inbox every morning? CLICK HERE!
Want us to feature YOUR garden, or a garden you’ve recently visited, in the Garden Photo of the Day? CLICK HERE!
Want to see every post ever published? CLICK HERE!
Want to search the GPOD by STATE? CLICK HERE!
And last but not least,
Check out the GPOD Pinterest page, where you can browse all the post in categories…fun! CLICK HERE!

We awaken to this landscape view of early signs of fall shown left to right by a ‘Fireglow’ Japanese maple, yellow redbud, ‘Butterfly’ Japanese maple tree beneath the redbud, dogwood above the blue pot, and the canopy of a ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maple over a Japanese lantern.
This western redbud captures the magical simplicity of nature’s fall beauty. It is a charming native tree showing its handsome, broad, heart-shaped, bright yellow leaves. In early spring, before leaf-out, a profusion of small, sweet pea–shaped, lavender-pink to rosy purple flowers appear on twigs, branches, and even the main trunk.
Dogwood (Cornus kousa) is a favorite ornamental tree for its modest size and four-season appeal. In autumn, it is among the first to share a foliage that turns a stunning deep red before falling, leaving a handsome skeleton with alligator skin-like bark in winter. In nature they grow as understory trees, preferring afternoon shade to shield them from blazing sunlight.
Early morning sunlight touches the foliage of a dogwood tree.

Acer mono ‘Usugumo’ Japanese Maple (batwing maple) has attractive green foliage throughout the season. The lobed, palm-shaped leaves are ornamentally significant and turn an outstanding orange in the fall. Here it is surrounded by maidenhair ferns.
This ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maple has now reached the far side of the fishpond.
8    ‘Maiku jaku’ (dancing peacock) Japanese maple has multi-divided leaves giving it a fern-like appearance. Always a beautiful tree. 
Fast growing water lettuce (Pista stratiotes) rosettes floating in this pot are one of the world’s most productive freshwater aquatic plants. However, severe overgrowth can block gas exchange in the air-water interface, reducing oxygen in the water and killing fish.

Small water lettuce rosettes add interest to the moving water in the reflecting pond.
Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’ (‘Kocho nishiki’) Japanese maple is always a striking garden tree with its variegated cream-colored, 5-lobed leaves. Rarely are any two leaves alike. In fall coloration the white areas become a prominent magenta giving a new quality to its appearance.
Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’, commonly called red maple, in the fall presents beautiful orange-red foliage color. Attractive red flowers appear in early spring before the foliage emerges. Glossy dark green leaves with red stems and 3-5 lobes first appear followed by its brilliant fall color.
V-Corbin (‘Midori no teiboku’) Japanese maple shows off its lime green leaf structure in the early spring. In the fall the color of solid yellow is intense. 

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) makes an easy and beautiful choice to add color to the garden. It also provides lovely and long-lasting cuttings to freshen the home all summer long. In our garden it is one of the most favorite plants for hummingbirds.
Penstemon barbatus ‘Elfin Pink’. This herbaceous perennial features lance-shaped foliage and spikes of trumpet shaped blooms. It is excellent for attracting hummingbirds, is drought tolerant and prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
Mule deer is helping herself to lush begonia (Odocoileus hemionus). The deer digestive tracts differ from cattle and elk in that they have a smaller rumen in relation to their body size, so they must be more selective in their feeding. Instead of eating large quantizes of low-quality feed like grass, deer must select the most nutritious plants and parts of plants.
Mule deer can see a 310-degree view around themselves and can detect slight predator movement up to 600 meters away. Their sense of smell is up to 1,000 times stronger than a human’s and they can detect human odor at up to a half mile away. They can detect water that is up to two feet below ground. They bounce away in a motion called “stotting,” in which all four hooves push off the ground at the same time. With each bound, this mule deer may jump as high as two feet and as far as 15 feet.

View Comments


  1. perenniallycrazy 11/27/2014

    What a wondrous and amazing thanksgiving post! Is there a day 2? Happy Turkey to all.

  2. Meelianthus 11/27/2014

    Hello again Irvin & Pauline ~ I am always in awe of your beautiful gardens and your Fall pics, complete with wild life, are amazing. Such a delicious palette of color throughout your property, and I can't even imagine seeing that turkey up in a tree. What a site! We get the occasional pheasant up in a tree but that turkey is truly grand. The Himalayan Maidenhair fern is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful sites and have a great Thanksgiving.

  3. ingehaneke 11/27/2014

    just beautiful !

  4. wGardens 11/27/2014

    Wonderful photos and text to enjoy this Thanksgiving! How I would love to visit your garden... many times throughout the seasons!!! Love your gardening style- and your lovely specimens! Thank you!

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/27/2014

    Thanks, Irvin and Pauline! Such a treat to see the great images and read the wonderful descriptions. The Japanese maples are all sited to show off their form and color so exquisitely that it makes me want every single one! Beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving!
    I am definitely thankful for you, Michelle, for your gardening enthusiasm and all of your hard work!

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/27/2014

    Well, Irvin and Pauline, I think your gorgeously glorious Mr. Gobbler will be my pin up boy for the day (if my more tech savvy daughter can make that photo my screen saver). You are so generous to nourish our souls with your beautiful pictures and to allow wildlife to sustain themselves with nibbles of your plants. I positively adore the new word I have learned today "stotting" and, by golly, am going to try to find some way to work it into conversation at the Thanksgiving gathering I am going to. Thank you for these wonderful views of your fall garden and you, Michelle, for doing the work ahead of time so we had this treat land on our screens this special day. Happy Thanksgiving all.

  7. GrannyMay 11/27/2014

    Happy Thanksgiving Irvin and Pauline! Thank you for sharing your amazing woodland garden with us and all the wildlife. Please keep up the tradition by posting every year at this time. With your turkeys and beautiful colourful maples, your garden is the perfect post for today. And thank you Michelle for giving us GPOD so we can begin every day with new gardens to enjoy. Last, but not least, thank you fellow GPODers for sharing your gardens, your advice and your warmth, making this a true gardening family.

  8. schatzi 11/27/2014

    That turkey is magnificent! Hard to imagine one that size actually flying up into a tree to roost. Beautiful Japanese maples, ferns, flowers, cobalt blue pots, water features and wildlife. Truly a heavenly spot.Thank you for a wonderful Thanksgiving post.

  9. GrannyCC 11/27/2014

    Happy Thanksgiving to all our American neighbours. Looking at the photos we have lots to be thankful for. Irvin and Pauline you have an amazing collection of Japanese Maples. I have never seen a varigated one such as "Butterfly". it is so delicate and lacey. Don't think I would like to meet that Buck unawares. he is huge ans very strong looking.

  10. greengenes 11/27/2014

    After seeing these grand turkeys I don't know if I want to ever eat one again! They are gorgeous birds! You are fortunate to see these in the "wild". Your variety of maple trees is quite spectacular. It gives me some ideas for our place! Thanks so much for sending these in and also we do thank you, Michelle for all that you do for us garden friends! I love this blog! And may all of us have a very thankful day and beyond!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest