Red Leaves and Sweet Osmanthus

Corylus purpureaI tend to associate red leaves with autumn but we have lots of plants and shrubs with red leaves throughout the year.

This is the Corylus Purpurea, the purple leaved hazelnut/filbert that gives us so much joy  whatever the season.  This photo was taken with Brian’s compact, a Canon G10.

corylus purpurea catkinsIt has red catkins in the winter, followed by these extraordinary leaves that start off a deep dusky red/purple and turn green as the summer turns to autumn and then produces nuts in the autumn. The squirrels bury the nuts and we find seedlings all over the place. We have rescued some of the seedlings and they are growing happily in pots until they can be rehomed with friends. I am thinking about a little guerilla planting as we have a couple that no one has claimed….

This is an ornamental red crab apple. It has wonderful dark pink blossom but the most pathetic little fruits that are no use for making jelly. Not the best choice in the world!

The flowers come after the leaves – any day now.


And here is my osmanthus bush having its moment of sweet scented glory. When I come home after dark the scent knocks you sideways. I wish it flowered for longer but I treasure this week when it puts on its best show.  I brought this plant from my old house where it had sat in a pot for years and planted it out and it is so very happy!  I have seen teas made using osmanthus flowers, but I don’t know how one would go about it. Should I collect the flowers?osmanthus flowering

All photographs by Brian!

17 thoughts on “Red Leaves and Sweet Osmanthus

  1. bagnidilucca

    Beautiful! Don’t you just love spring. Thanks to you I am singing Pavarotti’s elephant song in my head – I can’t shift it.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      He has fun with that little camera as well as his serious one! I’m glad you liked them Celia :)

      Tulips any day now…. did you hear the Radio 4 programme about chicken keeping the other day? It was called Attilla the Hen. Can you get Radio 4? It was great, lots of it in Bristol, I was almost persuaded, until the woman started talking about tweezing maggots from her poor hen’s bottom…..

  2. heidi

    Love Brian’s spring pictures!
    Tulips!!! My daffodils are showing a little bud- in the Spring Tease show we have going on here. Crocus came up, started to bloom and were frozen forthwith. Trees (Maple) are showing red at the tips but not moving any further than to blush.
    I’m thinking Spring in Ohio is very prudish and Victorian with no abandon or frivolity.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      English Spring is hip hop at the moment – though we do get the frozen crocus syndrome too. Do you remember that saffron crocus I had in the garden? Someone emailed me yesterday and asked if they could use the photo in their encylopedia. I said yes. Strange world, this blogosphere.

  3. drfugawe

    Those osmanthus flowers look like we should be able to smell them off our screens – Wikipedia says the flowers are dried and mixed with black or green teas. So, don’t let them go much further before you capture some for drying.

  4. chocveg

    My pear tree has sprung into bloom, and I think I spy a damson blossom from upstairs! Must be Spring in Surrey! Hope we don’t have more frost.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      My pear tree is almost there, any day now, clusters in waiting…. I wonder if it will fruit again after last year’s bonanza! If I was a gambler I would expect more frost at some point though…

  5. Barbara

    Osmanthus tea is good. I bought some in China two years ago, have some left, and the aroma is still there. Try to make some!

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