Saturday, April 19, 2014

Serviceberry and Pawpaw Trees

Remember the serviceberry I posted about for Wildflower Wednesday? It opened up all of the way, looking at a distance like a froth of white wedding lace. None of the other serviceberries bloomed as long as this one; the rest opened up when temps were in the mid 80's and the flowers blew quickly.

March 30, 2014

I moved this tree into its current location about 7 years ago and unfortunately didn't notice how crooked the tree is until this year. Oh well. I staked it with three stakes but it's probably too little, too late. Another nearby wild serviceberry that wasn't ever moved is also crooked.

April 9th

I love the fuzzy leaves, bright spring green on top and silver on the bottom. Looks like there could be a lot of fruit this year. I don't know if this is true of our trees, but Michael Dirr writes that "ripe fruits are better than highbush blueberries; I have had serviceberry pie and it ranks in the first order of desserts".

I don't think there will be any pawpaw fruit this year, since only one of our trees is big enough to flower. This one has never had nearly this many flowers before. They make nice photographic subjects, with the bell shape and brushed velvet texture and rich colors, lime green and wine.

This tree is a wild type purchased from the NC Botanical Garden; in March DH planted 2 other pawpaws nearby, a Pennsylvanian Gold and another wild one, both from Stark Brothers. I have never actually tasted a pawpaw, but they sound intriguing, and quite good. Allison Aubrey from NPR describes a pawpaw is "sort of mango-meets-the-banana, with a little hint of melon". Dirr says that the fruit "has a taste similar to a banana with a custard consistency".

I also just like the look of this tree, with its long nodding leaves and golden fall color.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Starting Small

Spring is such a beautiful and exciting time, a gardener wants to see and experience and photograph ALL THE THINGS.

Maybe it's best to start small, at ground level.

I love the color of lamium and clover in the spring. By the end of the week it'll probably be time to
mow. The lamium will be starting to go to go to seed and the bees will have moved onto other things.

Mazus has lovely funny little lavender flowers and is a water
lover. The path between the beds gets the runoff from the house.

No mowing until the Mazus is done. I may have to weed by hand, but
it's not much grass and worth it to see the Mazus as long as possible.

The blue violets have actually done what I hoped and spead to
form a carpet under the roses and mockorange and beautyberries.

Tommy "helping" me clear out the deadwood.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Early spring flowers

To anyone who saw a couple of old posts accidentally put up as new and the 2 who commented on them - sorry about the mix-up. I was searching through my blog for some things, found some spelling errors, and when I republished the posts they published in current time even though they shouldn't have. Foxgloves are not in bloom here yet!

The crocus have just finished; the weather was perfect for them and they had a good long run. They are planted in pots and mulched with sharp gravel or the voles would happily munch them down.

Crocus tommasinianus

The winter honeysuckle has had a nice long run too, over 3 months.
The heat this week will likely finish them off. Honeybees love them.

The daffodils from DH's grandmother's garden were beautiful this year.

This double Lent lily (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) came from her garden too.

Single Lent lily

Narcissus 'Trevithian'

Split corona daff, can't find the name.

I have a lot of clearing to do.

I am clearing slowly because of these little birds.

White-Throated Sparrow, picking at a mound of ground up flax seed.

Not just White-Throated Sparrows but also Song Sparrows (neither of which will stay
here to breed), resident Chipping and Field Sparrows, Cardinals and Goldfinches. The
other day I was talking to DH in front of the vegetable garden and there was a river
of birds streaming behind his head, following the cover at the edge of the garden.

I hear/see Brown-Headed Nuthatches working on this dead pine tree almost every day.

A group of Carolina Anoles have overwintered on the side of the house, three or four, all different sizes.

This winter has been so wet that the pond in next to the neighbors pasture has overflowered several times.

Georgia Speedwell (from the Russian state of Georgia)

The yard is a crazy quilt of grass, clover, deadnettle, henbit, tiny field pansies, and creeping speedwell.
It looks beautiful in the golden light of late afternoon.

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