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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The ginkgo is an ancient tree-fern dating back to the era of the dinosaurs, an exceptionally hardy but slow-growing tree with beautiful fan-shaped leaves, each veined with radiating ridges like Fortuny pleating.

When I was a little girl my parents planted a ginkgo on our front lawn, quite unusual then for small town Ontario. When I went off to the big city for university, I felt welcomed by the stunning grove of ginkgoes on campus in front of the main cultural centre. My DH and I travelled to Kyoto in October 1989 and enjoyed the ancient ginkgoes in the temple gardens, then in their full autumn splendour. When we returned, we planted a ginkgo on our own front lawn. After my parents died within hours of each other in 1997, my sister and I had a ginkgo planted on their shared graves.

The ginkgo tree is special to me. When I left for work yesterday morning my ginkgo was still bright gold, illuminated in the autumn sunshine. Dazzling!

And by the time I got home, every golden leaf had fallen straight down, creating a golden pool around the trunk. All at once. As they do every year.

Fan with unlearned grace
Flex and flutter pleats precise
Geisha ginkgo leaf.

NANCY has a wonderful blog with golden ginkgo images:

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