The Living Daylights

|Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit'|

|Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit'|

I consider myself somewhat of an explorer.  Everyday I am on an expedition to find the beauty of things; something that makes me say "Hey that's cool!" or makes me feel good.  One thing I love to look out for is a frozen moment.   Frozen moments are those times when everything seems to be in its right place.  One such example is being in a garden or on a hiking trail and coming across the shadows cast by clouds or rays of sunlight seeping through the canopy of trees dappling light across anything in its path.  I consider moments like this to be living daylight. You can create living daylight with plants or other natural elements.  One such plant is the deciduous shrub Cotinus coggyrgria 'Golden Spirit' or the golden smokebush.  The luminous foliage color is hypnotic.  Its chartreuse foliage glows radiantly in full sun or part shade.  New leaf growth is blushed in tones of coral.  As the foliage matures it transitions into a rich golden hue and in fall turns shades of deep coral, orange, and red.  The added bonus is that it produces very fine smoke-like clusters of purple misty flowers.  It makes a beautiful accent in the garden or a container.  To create quite a statement combine it with plants that have rich purple or black foliage and prune it seasonally to accentuate shape.