Observe the witch-hazel. Green leaves turned golden. And blossoms like fireworks against the cloudy autumn surroundings. As the Brooklyn Botanic Garden tells us, "American witch-hazel has a number of traits that help it steal the limelight, including smooth gray bark, attractive architecture, and colorful fall foliage. But the real showstopper comes when you least expect it. As November approaches and most respectable plants have dropped their leaves and gone to seed, Hamamelis virginiana bursts forth in floristic splendor. Clusters of small, pale yellow blooms, each with four streamerlike petals, hug the twigs. Some flowers may linger on the branches into December." I've even seen them reappear in February and March. How respectable is that?