Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Seeing Red!

If I were in Italy to see one red toga would possibly mean I see  a magistrate.  Or the red-haired one in France could mean the red wine with more body. 
 If in Spain I told a red joke, it would be considered rude or off color.  If in Japan and the red light comes on, I am in a precarious position.

Last year I was listening to NPR and an author was talking about his new book.  I was most intrigued by this book.  A take on idioms around the world, I'm Not Hanging Noodles On Your Ears and other Intriguing Idioms from Around the World by Jag Bhalla.  He had me hooked as he talked about idioms using color to make their point and how it varies around the world.  

 Needless to say I had to buy this book.  Have had lots of fun reading through it.  If you are an idiom lover and find humor in language...get it!

Here in the United States, seeing red quite often mean anger, frustration, or ready to blow one's top.  OR--Seeing red may just mean I have loads of beautiful fall color all around me. 
 One of my new Master Gardener friends has been teasing me about being drawn to any plant with red foliage this time of year.  We went to a nursery and I went up to each red plant.  Kind of got to be the joke of the day.

This time of year I do love seeing the varied colors in the landscape, but red does jump out at me.  I was happy to find these native blueberry bushes in my woods, some call them Sparkleberry or Dewberry.  Believe this one is Vaccinium arboreum.

Many of the oaks in my yard are also turning red,

even this White Oak.

Of course this gorgeous Dogwood catches my eye every time I look out the window.  The bluebirds feed on its berries.  It is great to see that shock of blue emerge from the red leaves.

Even the forest floor has red leaves.
Ok, quiz time-- Why did Janet buy Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'?  RIGHT! Red stems and leaves in the fall.  Yes, also a native and a nice shrub. 

And of course this Fothergilla is becoming more and more red as the season progresses. 

Yes, I also have some red stemmed plants.  The Red Twig Dogwood's stems are striking this time of year.  Need to have a background plant to set it off, right now it is the 'holding area' for plants that are ready to be planted.

Here are the beautiful stems/branches of the Coralbark Maple,  Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku'.  In the fall its leaves are yellow, set off by the red color of the bark.  Very nice tree.

Even the littlest Crape Myrtle that was a volunteer in another plant's pot, is putting forth some great color.

All along the woods we have lots of Sumac.  Its color ranges from orange-y red to burgundy. 
Finally, my new Loropetalum that is planted along the side of the front yard....beginnings of a buffer whenever someone builds next door.  This beauty is flanked by  Chamaecyparis 'Vintage Gold' and Cupressus arizonica 'Carolina Sapphire'.  Looking for a nice contrast in color and foliage.
All photos were taken in my yard.  The top photo is our septic drainage field across the street-- full of sumac right now.  The second photo is one of the Viburnum tinus compacta 'Spring Bouquet'.
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. i am crazy for red, too. and thanks for the book idea - now i know what to get a language loving someone on my christmas list!

  2. Can't beat those crepes and dogwoods for red color. The intro to this post is a very nice read on idioms.

  3. I am always drawn to anything with red leaves when I go to the nursery too. Love all the wonderful leaf pics here!

  4. Yes you are, and lovely too.

  5. I know all gardeners cringe when people say "what you need is...", but what you need is a Yuletide Camellia.

  6. Beautiful photos and post!
    I really like the reds in the garden too.

  7. Love this!

    When I walked out of a business yesterday, the euonymous just outside the door stopped me in my tracks. It was a huge, mature specimen that towered above my head.

    Sumacs along the side of the road in autumn are a bigger danger for me -- since I'm usually driving when they start distracting me. I think they are one of my favorite plants in the fall.

  8. That sounds like a great book... I love red too, in the garden anyway, and you have some wonderful examples. 'Sango-kaku' is on my wishlist for when I have space for another tree.

  9. Yes, you truly have some gorgeous reds going on for this post! Red is one of my all-time faves so I enjoyed this a lot.

    I am going to see about that book, it sounds interesting.

  10. I think idioms are fun, too; I'll look for this book.

    I love all the red this time of year, and you have such a variety of gorgeous red foliage in your garden, Janet. Good to see the 'Henry's Garnet' and the fothergilla so beautiful--I'm hoping my two new babies do so well as yours.

  11. I'm attracted to the red foliage at this time of the year too Janet. I can't wait till my little Coral Bark Maple looks like that! And Loropetalum is on my must add list. :)

  12. Sparkleberry has beautiful fall color doesn't it? We don't have Sparkleberry here but the Blueberries are gorgeous.

    Love the color on that dogwood! Here in Johnston County the dogwoods tend to turn very dark, almost black-red some years.

  13. You sure have a variety of lovely reds featured here Janet! I love that color too but I always thought because I mostly see "yellow" in the fall here. (the most commonly planted trees seem to be cottonwoods and aspens) I've made conscious choices to add reds & oranges to the landscape. Of course it only works if Mother Nature is kind to us and gives us a nice fall. Last year she froze everything before it changed color and we just had brown!

  14. Lots of red! I just linked to your post in mine. I really like the maple and the red twig dogwoods. You can look at the stem color all winter long!

  15. Hasn't it been a great year for reds in the garden? I've enjoyed dogwoods and fothergilla, especially. Love your sparkleberry, too -- it's one of my favorites.


  16. Hi Daricia, glad to know you may use the book as a gift!

    Hi Tina, Glad you like the idioms, I find them fun.

    Hi Alison, red foliage is just so striking.

    Hi GWGT, haha thanks!

    Hi Les, Charlie said we 'ought' to get one. We did look at a Yuletide when we bought the others.

    Hi Fer, thanks! Reds just stand out so nicely this time of year.

    Hi Eliza, The sumacs were some of the first reds I noticed here when we were building. Just super!

    Hi Janet, I am glad I got the Sango-Kaku--really nice color all year.

    Hi Rosey, thanks, the reds really are super. Hope you find the book.

    Hi Rose, You will love this book, lots of fun to read. I hope my Henry's Garnet grows by leapts and bounds this is kind of small.

    Hi Racquel, red does seem to be the favored color! The Ever Red Loropetalum is wonderful!!!!!!

    Hi Sweetbay, I really like the Sparkleberry. Was thrilled to find it in my woods. Some of the dogwoods are SO dark red, just love them.

    Hi Kathleen, I DO have a great variety of red don't I? Hope you have great color this year.

    Hi Dave, glad thanks for the link. I had some Black Spot on the Redtwig Dogwood this summer, hope it is cleaned up so prevent it this coming summer. Still need a backdrop for the red stems to stand out.

    Hi Lisa, my Fothergilla is almost glowing orange, pretty cool.

  17. I'm with you, nothing pops out more at this time of year like the red foliage.

  18. Thanks Scott. I think the color red wins this year for its show in the landscape.


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