This young sassafras wants to be noticed. Bright orange, tiered like a wedding cake, framed between the spruce and holly, it catches my eye whenever I look out the window.
It is right next to another sassafras. These were planted at the same time in the woods along the edge of the road. The one on the left has grown much larger and fuller, but it has no fall color. The smaller one is strongly tiered, still a bendy whip, and colors spectacularly.
Does the smaller one color so brightly because it is stressed? It looks healthy enough all year, but isn't growing like its sister just five feet away. And the green one should be coloring up --- sassafras here are among the most brilliant fall foliage sights. It's funny, and I'm not sure which tree is the oddity.
Another strange thing is the doublefile viburnum 'Shasta' that has been two-toned for weeks now. Half red, half green. In other years it has turned deep mahogany all over, but this year it can't get there. It's stuck halfway.
There it sits, with some tall orangey sugar maples towering behind it on the hill. The red half and the green half of the viburnum are distinctly split right down the middle. Kind of funny.
Irises in late October? Iris 'Immortality' is advertised as a reblooming iris. I planted it, thinking I would see the pretty white blooms in spring and then a few sporadic reblooms later in the year. It is actually blooming stronger now than it does earlier in the season. It goes into October and November with lots of crystalline sugary white petals, all frilly and silly, looking confused about the season.
A visitor who saw them along my front walk this week asked "are those real?" Funny!
Another strange fall duo: two river birches planted in the same raised berm at the same time five years ago, and the one on the left is yellow, dropping leaves, the other to the right is still green and leafy. They are only ten feet apart. Why so different, I wonder. It's just funny.
It's almost Halloween and we haven't had a frost yet. That's unusual here. And so I get the odd combination of fiery foliage on the trees with blue flowering plumbago. The plumbago isn't even close to being hardy here, and should be gone by now.
It's odd to see the combination of summery blue flowers, deep garnet Itea in the garden behind it, and orange fall foliage in the distance, lit by the rising sun at dawn.
It's funny but I like it!