154 Boonton Avenue Kinnelon, NJ 07405 | (973) 838-3636 |
195 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland, NJ 07436 (by apointment)                                


When Pina and I moved to Kinnelon, twelve years ago, we spent a great deal of time the first few years planting flowers on our property.  We selected plants not only for their vivid colors but to provide us with beauty for as many months of the year as possible.  We chose trees for the color of their blossoms and the shape of their leaves, as well as for the beauty of the leaves when autumn comes.  After the deer ate our ginormous hostas the first spring, we learned to select  deer-resistant plants.  When the rabbits ate the tops off the 300+ tulips and daffodils I had slaved to plant, I learned another lesson.  We had already learned that, although perennials cost more, we did not have to buy new plants every year.

We have been rewarded for our early work with a profusion of colors each year, as Mother Nature, like clockwork, provides us with her magic, beginning with crocus and forsythia in March; rhododendron, redbud and magnolia in April; azaleas, weigela, lilac, viburnum and peonies in May; iris, roses and hydrangea in June; lillies and black-eyed susans in July; buddleia (butterfly bushes), coneflowers and daisies in August; and sedum in September.  The hostas came back after a year, and they flower from August until September.  Some of our plants flower more than once.  Some change color as the season moves on.  Many last for months.  Our majestic tri-color beech tree graces the sideyard, and a dwarf japanese red maple, three times as large as it was supposed to be, is a sight to behold when we open the front door.  Then, just as the flowers begin to fade, autumn arrives.

Every October, people flock to New England or Pennsylvania to take in fall foliage.  They pay premium prices for lodging and food.  We have learned that remaining close to home provides just as much enjoyment.  From our deck, we watch the color transformation of trees surrounding the Fayson Lakes.  As we drive south on Boonton Avenue toward Pyramid Mountain, in less than half a mile we come to a reservoir with a backdrop of trees blazing with reds, oranges and yellows.  In the other direction, Fayson Lakes Road is a winding, undulating path through more vibrant trees.  Suddenly, there is a clearing, and the road bisects the Butler Reservoir, providing a breathtaking view of water on both sides, ringed by trees turning color in all directions. 

The other day, as I drove down Brookvalley Road from Pompton Plains, I saw a tree so beautiful, I had to turn around go back and take a picture.  A few minutes later, as I pulled into my driveway, I realized that the tree in front of the house across the street was equally as beautiful.  I snapped a picture and then admired the tree from our living room window.  All of this is not to mention other country roads in Kinnelon, Boonton Township, West Milford, Oak Ridge, Wayne and Pompton Lakes; as well as Silas Condict Park with trees lining both sides of the long road leading up to the recreation area with more trees beyond and Garrett Mountain recreation area.  Soon, the trees will be bare, but a few months later, buds will appear, and the cycle will begin all over again.  Nature is truly amazing.

I suppose one day we will take that fall foliage trip, but I doubt it could be more beautiful than what we have right here.

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