When I look at the garden from the bedroom window, right now the most outstanding plant I notice is the smoke bush. I've been doing that a lot, looking out because of all the rain, but I have been able to watch a family of bluebirds trying fit their necessary flying lessons in between the storms.
Smokebush, Cotinus coggygria, is a fantastic garden plant that comes from Eurasia. It is actually related to the cashew. I absolutely love the way it looks. It has a lot to recommend it. It is drought tolerant and the deer don't seem to eat it, even here. It's fall color is spectacular! The leaves are patterned in green yellow and orange. Check out it's fall beauty at "Watching The West Wind"
Here is a little closer look at its feathery plumes. I love the way the plumes look in the sunlight. After a rain the water droplets are iridescent. We have had lots rain lately but sunlight has been sparse. I found a broken branch and cut it to bring in the house. It shows in this picture to the right just above the stone wall.
I always thought that that the purple plumes on this bush were the flowers. When I researched the plant the flowers were described as yellow. I was shocked!
Sure enough, on close inspection I found the flowers. I would hate to call them insignificant, but they are very tiny. The fuzzy purple plumes are flashy by comparison. I have to say it. I love my smokebush right down to it's tiny yellow flowers!
Today ended with rain again, but there was some sunshine too. I've only seen a few double rainbows and I like to mark the event when I do.