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Big ball o’ burning bush


Hard to miss the big red ball in the front garden this time of year. The Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) gets a good trimming a few times in the summer into its ball shape. I’ve not trimmed it in months. After being away for a week, came back to find it had morphed into a great big red clown nose dropped in front of the house.

Here it is, back in September. As a green ball, it blends in with everything else and you can barely tell it’s there.


There’s a more detailed post on Burning Bush and its invasive tendencies to be found at May Dreams Gardens. I don’t have to worry so much about it being invasive in this setting.

It is one of the few plants that was here when we moved into the house. It covers up a good chunk of the ugly concrete porch & stairs. Eventually, I’d like to design a front porch that would complement the 1897 gambrel-roofed Dutch Colonial Revival house. I don’t think the concrete, cinder block and black wrought iron fence are too historically accurate. Or good looking.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “Big ball o’ burning bush

  1. What a fun sign of change!

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  2. Every house could benefit from a clown nose. It's like your house has a Halloween costume.

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  3. Anonymous

    Yes indeed. It's a flaming clown nose isn't it? Burning Bush isn't invasive here in the Pacific Northwest, thus quite ubiquitous, which is most obvious this time of year. Your house is fabulous.

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  4. Nice bush!If you ever want a taste of what a concrete front porch demolition looks like, don't forget our house. The contractor's already broken one jack hammer…

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  5. Sheila,Beats lookin' at a sad salvia.Mr. McGregor's Daughter,Clown noses for every house – that'd be cool. Maybe next year I'll trim it in the shape of a nose.Grace,Thank you. We consider ourselves lucky to have such a nice house. We're just the caretakers for whomever will own it in the future.Al,Usually when someone tells me they have a burning bush I usually tell 'em that a course of tetracycline should clear that up.

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  6. Hi Jim… I think I like your red ball of burning bush better than any I have ever seen. It sure makes a colorful cheery statement this time of year. Its form sure works with your architecture. Lovely garden and house. Glad you stopped by so I found you… Carol

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  7. I love the red bush! & i love your garden!!!!!!

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  8. i love your sense of humor! i'm going to have to get a clown nose for my house now!

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  9. That shot with the burning bush in its fall glory, really changes the scale of your house. In many of your photos your house looks huge and suddenly it seemed much smaller. Call it the BB-Effect.

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