Berries, Branches, and Flowers?

November 18 2013 WC and Parkway 005

When you click on this photo to enlarge it, you may be able to spot the yellow Forsythia flowers, blooming out of season in November.

Late yesterday afternoon, I wandered around the garden looking for branches to cut for this arrangement on our refreshment table ready for tomorrow’s gathering.  I wanted a mixture of branches with evergreen leaves, some interesting fall color, and bare branches.

After cutting some Southern Wax Myrtle, whose berries have all been eaten by the birds, sadly; and some  Ligustrum, still heavy with deep purple berries; I  wandered over to a stand of Forsythia to cut a few branches of beautiful gold and burgundy leaves.  And there, believe it or not, were tiny yellow flowers.  Now, I’ve seen Forsythia bloom in late January after an especially mild winter, but I’ve never seen it bloom in November.  Look closely at the arrangement, between the two cardinals and just above the purple berries. There… you’ll see the yellow Forsythia flowers.

Our refreshment table is set and ready for tomorrow's gathering.

Our refreshment table is set and ready for tomorrow’s gathering.

The branches with large yellow leaves are hazelnut. If you look closely you’ll see tiny male catkins hanging from the branches.  The catkins produce pollen, and are usually seen in early spring.  If you think you see gold branches in this arrangement, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.

The largest pieces are re-used from last Christmas’s mantlepiece, and are sprayed gold.  Normally they are covered in little blown glass birds.  There are three birds in this arrangement.  Can you spot them?  The two red cardinals are carved wood.  There’s also a little grey and white bird in the very center.  The blown glass birds are a bit much until after Thanksgiving, when we’ll gear up for the holidays…

For all of you fellow gardeners, who watch the seasonal movement of the wild things as I do, I thought you might be interested in Forsythia and Hazel blooming in November.  It ended up as a very rewarding walk around the garden yesterday.  Even after our first frosts, I was still able to find interesting and beautiful material for a bouquet.

November 18 2013 WC and Parkway 004

All Photos by Woodland Gnome

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”      

Stanley Horowitz

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

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