Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Evening

                      The First Sunday Evening in November
I always keep my eyes open for "volunteers" - those plants that seed themselves in the yard and show themselves to me soon after the seed germinates. The above Euonymus was such a plant. I decided early on that I would trim it like a tree so there is one trunk and it is now about six feet tall. It's not like the winged Euonymus shrubs - which we called 'burning bushes' - of my youth; they had 'wings' on the branches that I loved. For some bizarre reason, those wings seem to have been bred out by botanists and are missing on most varieties of burning bushes now. Perhaps that's why some of the bushes fall prey to the winter girdling done by hungry rabbits? Clicking on photos enlarges them.
This is probably the last dahlia of the year. Many of the leaves are heavily frost-damaged but some of the flowers still open making them even more appreciated.
This is a rare "shrub" daisy mum from Japan. I like this plant because the flowers look like Shasta daisies but they flower late in the year AND they are very hardy, whereas Shasta daisies are rather tender and rarely survive in my area for more than a year or two. Unlike most mums, this plant does not die back to the ground every winter. It builds branches that survive the winter and the bush gets taller and taller. If you look closely, you can see the twiggy branches. It flowers very late; it's November now and it will still be going strong for another week or two. In fact the flowers open late, probably mid October, when most mums are finished. This one got a little top heavy with leaves and flowers but it is still lovely. The added bonus is that the flowers attract syrphid flies and a few bumble bees and provide food in the form of nectar and pollen for them when virtually every other flower is history!

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