Leaves and flowers in November

Our Ash trees along our border are the first to lose their leaves and our Liquidambar the first to glow with autumn colour. In the foreground of the photo above, the Anisodontea is still producing its pink flowers and is still being visited by bees. Today the rain has stopped but there is not much sunshine.

The Eriobotrya japonica is full of flowers and attracts lots of pollinators, while the leaves of our white Mulberry tree have turned yellow and started to fall. This tree has been grown from seed. We hope it will produce tasty white mulberries that are very sweet. There are so many varieties of mulberries but they are not well known and it seemed the only way was to grow one from seed but it is not a method for the impatient gardener to replicate.

Stretching taller than our garden wall, the blue sage is visited daily by the bumble bees.

The pink sage close by is also visited by the bumble bees that pierce the long flower from the outside to reach the nectar. This piercing will be reused by the bumble bees and also facilitate an entry for the honeybees.

This honeybee is on the sage leucantha but the hole she is using will have been made by a bumble bee.

There is something else making holes in the flowers.

It is so little that it is difficult to tell what it is. Possibly a Painted Lady but I don’t think November is a good time to be a caterpillar. I have never seen a caterpillar on the sage flowers before.

At the moment I am raking leaves for the compost and sorting out the borders. Our old Veronica had died completely on one side and we felt it was well past pruning and hoping for new growth.

Out came the old plant and then we discovered a self-seeded new plant growing at its side. We have enjoyed watching the bees on the flowers of the old plant so we were pleased with this phoenix successor. In fact there were a couple of other little seedlings in the roots so those were potted too. Just in case!

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17 thoughts on “Leaves and flowers in November

  1. It would be nice to grow loquat again. Cultivars are available, but unpopular because of their affiliation with naturalized feral loquats that produce fruit of inferior quality. I think I asked about this earlier in regard to your tree.

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    1. Seemingly, the tree originates in China and there are lots of cultivars. I did not know this. We grew this from a seed of a fruit which we bought in the U.K. where you only find it in specialist food shops. I think it is wonderful how gardeners have grown the plants they love and spread them throughout the world. Amelia

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      1. Yes, which might be why cultivars are becoming popular again within the Santa Clara Valley. People from China are more familiar with it. For a long time, only seed grown ‘ornamental’ types were commonly available from nurseries, but they were not particularly ‘ornamental’. I would like to grow a cultivar, although I met only two so far. I am unfamiliar with the rest. You know though, I could grow a feral tree also, just because I am familiar with them. That is what we had in the old neighborhood.

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          1. Well, I am none too keen on them as ornamentals, particularly since some who recognize them consider them to be invasive. (They really do not get very far without irrigation though.) I only left them at the former home because of their fruit. They were not likely as good as cultivars, but they were what we had. ‘Gold Nugget’ is likely the most common cultivar here, perhaps because it is so reliable. To me, it seems to be even prettier than common seed grown trees, with a low and rounded canopy, and many plump and colorful fruit.

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  2. That was interesting about the holes in the flowers being reused. I have seen all sorts of pollinators on my salvias, but most prominent were the bumblebees and the hummingbird hawk moth (who doesn’t need the holes!) Lovely to see your garden is still producing colour and flowers. 😃

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  3. Interesting, thank you. Many of the trees here have lost their leaves and a nearby sycamore also shed vast amounts of seed that we keep treading in to the house. Was the over production of seed a response to the very dry summer? The only liquidambar nearby shed its leaves some time ago but it did produce a very bright red tint.

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    1. I am still waiting for my “Chanticleer” pear tree to change colour. I like the idea that I can rake the leaves up over an extended period, usually there are some brighter days for that task. Amelia

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