Red Carpet Roundup: The 2021 Fall Ball

Nov 26, 2021 | Gardens

Reporting from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, here is your insider look at some of the plants that walked the red carpet at the 2021 Fall Ball. 

Climbing Hydrangea won The People’s Choice award for her sophisticated, clinging gown that offered just a few peaks of her trunk. 

Quercus (“Just call me Wilow-leaf”) phellos walked in wearing his usual understated yet elegant attire. He never tries to stand out from the crowd, yet his quiet strength shines through for anyone who is paying attention. At The Fall Ball, Willow-leaf chose to wear classic yellow.

PJM Rhododendron arrived in his trademark green to purple foliage and the crowd-pleasing glimpse of the flowers that will be featured on the runway the following spring. 

Franklinia alatamaha did not fail to disappoint loyal fans, as they appeared once again wearing foliage from The House of Bartram. “Some might think us dated,” Franklinia told this reporter, “but we’re confident about the power of the look combined with our killer backstory. I mean really…how many plants can claim a connection to Benjamin Franklin?”  

Some critics may talk behind Hinoki’s back about the sameness of her attire from season to season, but this false-cypress just shrugs such naysayers off with a shake of her fan-shaped foliage. “I add a few dried leaves in celebration of the season,” she says, “but I don’t think that more is necessary…anyone who does? Well, they’re trying too hard.”

Winterberry is an Ilex that always arrives every year totally naked except for her lipstick and jewelry. Far from being scandalized, the crowd that lined the red carpet just smiles, saying, “That’s Winterberry for you!”

Panicle Hydrangea arrived wearing last summer’s outfit. When asked about her choice of couture, she practically sneers, “You all loved me from late-July into October. But now that time has browned my flowers and shriveled my leaves I’m suddenly not acceptable? To change clothing at this time of year would be such a waste…I say take me as I am and be happy for it.” We are always happy to take Panicle just as she is.


Rose, a perennial crowd-pleaser at any celebration, walked the red carpet shivering but as proud and triumphant as always. Neither age, nor frost, nor blackspot leaf disease can diminish her beauty or popularity, and she knows it.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Ogon’ smirks as he walks into The Fall Ball. He takes such delight in being one of  the few conifers that sheds his leaves, especially in such a colorful manner. “Why be ordinary?” Ogon has been heard to say.

Exhausted by the festivities at the Fall Ball, Ginkgo unceremoniously drops her party clothes on the floor, and heads off to bed.

As the spotlight continues to shine on the revelers at the end of The Fall Ball, we wish you goodnight and a restful winter season.


  1. Thomas Mickey

    C.L., loved this especially all the color. Thank you so much. A delightful little journey to see them all…

  2. Lorelei

    Lovely. Thank you!

  3. Alison Carvounis

    That was really fun…thank you!


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