Out-of-Season Blooms

Out-of-Season Blooms

Virginia creeper on birch tree A mild September has meant that a few plants in the Chester area have been tricked into re-blooming.  Although occasional glimpses of red leaves have shown up on selected maples, most gardens are still green. One of the first plants to change colour is the Virginia Creeper, seen here winding around the trunk of  a white birch and offset by the fresh green branches of a pine. Such a scene could tempt a Sunday painter to reach for her acrylic paints and brushes.  That is, if you squint hard enough, it’s almost like looking at a  splendid splash of abstract art.

But on to the out-of-season blooms. Having enjoyed the usual array of rhododendrons and azaleas in the spring, we were pleasantly surprised to find a few of those plants setting out new blooms in the fall.  The next few images (contributed by Sandy) were taken mid to late September.

rhodo rampao
Rhododendron Ramapo
Rhododendron (variety unknown)
Actea Hillside Black Beauty
Silver Lace vine

The Kerria japonica (below),  found in another Chester garden, usually puts out its floral display in May. Although it has produced fewer blooms in September, the out-of-season  display makes a welcome bright addition to the duller colours of the spent blooms and foliage of its neighbours.

Kerria japonica

A honeysuckle vine that was a favourite source of nectar for hummingbirds all summer continues to put forth a few blossoms even though the birds have long since departed for southern climes. Adding their own dash of colour and interesting shapes at this time of year are the various fruits and seeds that appear on trees and shrubs.

Ornamental crab apples
Holly berries
Wisteria seed pods
Asclepia seed pods

The ascelpia photo is included as a nod to our previous posts devoted to Monarch butterflies and their reliance on asclepias (milkweeds).  The thousands of delicate wispy  seeds are released when the hard pod opens.  They drift away on the breeze and those that find fertile ground will be the source of new milkweeds that will nourish and provide egg-laying bases for future Monarch butterflies.

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