form and foliage

Year round garden interest with minimal care

This rainbow doesn’t just END in gold!


landscape design, shrubs and trees

A rainbow over the foliage garden after a sun shower


Generally the winter skies in Sonoma County are the most dramatic; the low sun lighting up the clouds and sky all shades of orange and pink. We were missing them the other day when we had a bout of unsettled weather, with rain and hail followed by brilliant sunshine. The setting sun lit up the sky where it was not still covered by glowering clouds. The result was bands of brilliance alternating with deep, rich hues.

Eucalyptus globulus

That Eucalyptus is GREEN. Not this evening!

Moving in a little closer, you can see four yellow trees in the background. The two on the left are, indeed, fairly yellow in normal light. They are two cultivars of Cupressus macrocarpa, our native Monterey cypress. The one on the far left is ‘Citriodora’, the next one in is ‘Coneybearii Aurea’. They were lit up like beacons on this rainy afternoon. The yellow tree on the right is a Japanese maple called ‘Mizuho Beni’. It’s quite yellow, too, but generally doesn’t look like it has an on-off switch. What was really amazing, though, is that the Eucalyptus globulus, second in from the right, is ordinarily a solid gray-green. This afternoon’s light makes it look positively radioactive!

Parkinsonia 'Desert Museum

The near ground was in shadow, providing dramatic contrast to the fiery trees behind.

In the shot above, the Japanese maple is now on the left, in the background. You can see lots of other yellow trees back there, although none of them are yellow, they are just on fire!

Brahea armata

The other side of the rainbow ends in gold, too!

The band of gold went from horizon to horizon, wrapping the garden in brilliance.

Foliage garden

We just couldn’t get enough of this light. The trees seemed to get brighter and brighter.

So now we won’t just look for dramatic skies in winter. Spring has shown us that it can hold its own!


8 thoughts on “This rainbow doesn’t just END in gold!

  1. I certainly love this post!

    Sent from my iPhone Kathy Tanner


  2. Wow! So cool to see a full rainbow. The colors are amazing. Always love to see your post and how the garden changes.

  3. Just exquisite!

  4. Sara: love this post….the yellows are outstanding and illustrate how a garden can change in appearance from the influence of light alone.
    Eye candy.

  5. Beautiful!

  6. Wow, Sara, these pics are incredible! What sunlight can do to foliage is amazing!

    Can we get together for lunch soon? I am in Petaluma a lot as our kids live there now until their home is rebuilt in SR.

    I have some time on Tuesdays between 11 and 2:00 if that works or any other day too.

    Would love a quick catch up with you.

    Love Judy🤗

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. I’m so glad the light inspired you to take photos! I hope to see many more. And please give details if your garden is open any days in 2018. Thanks so much!

  8. Nice!

    Katherine Randolph

    Home – 415-383-2631 – land line, no texting

    Cell – 415-269-6836 – no texting

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