Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two Kinds of Beautiful Days-


Yesterday I pruned the apple trees - much needed, as they were bearing so much fruit that none could mature to a good size. These are trees grafted onto dwarf stock and planted 10 years ago. They are never sprayed, and so don't bear beautiful fruit, but we use the apples for baking. One tree is 'Liberty' and the other is 'Freedom'.

My favorite aspect of the trees, aside from their flowers, is their extraordinary bark. Patches of gray, silver, taupe, olive green and pink.


I like the bark of this seedling crape myrtle too. It's the old Lagerstroemia indica, not a faurei hybrid, a seedling of a seedling of Pink Lace. It has huge flowers trusses of ruby red/pink, and this smooth-as-skin bark. Alas, it has not demonstrated any fall color, but I like it anyway.

It was a beautiful winter day, windy but sunny. A few Prunus mume flowers -- whose buds somehow lasted the cold a few weeks ago -- looked lovely against the blue sky.

And then, this morning - this!



First Breath of Spring


Prunus mume


Beautiful now, it'll probably be gone tomorrow.


15 comments:

  1. These are beautiful pictures.

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  2. Lovely walk. Thank you.
    I would prefer it to my own which these days consists of many many times round our garden, being deprived of my usual walk on the Downs.

    I worked out that I walk the equivalent of going 5 x round your perimeter fence. I split it into three sessions. Nice, but not as exhilirating as yours, which would be 1.8 km per round for a total of 9 km which equals my 5+ miles.

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  3. This mornings snow looks lovely! Not 'too' much but enough to add a touch of magic! Hope the little buds and blooms don't mind too much:)
    Weather is SO strange this year!

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  4. Thank you Ryan. :)

    Going around the perimeter of my farm would involve some splashing this time of year, unfortunately, lol. Part of our property is bordered by a slough, but I like it -- it keeps out four-wheeling marauders, and I like seeing the Prothonotary Warblers and Wood Ducks.

    Hi Jan, I think the buds and flowers are more disturbed by the sub-20 temps we had last night and frigid wind we're having now. It's so cold today!

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  5. Hi!
    Thanks for stoping by my blog.
    Love your photos!
    Linda

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  6. Both days beautiful, even with all the snow. I see you have one of those flowering apricot. I had never even heard of it before and here it is showing up everywhere. What is the white flower? The Carolina blue sky is exactly as I remember it, your pictures are beautiful.

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  7. Hi Sweet Bay, that was certainly two kinds of beautiful, winter and spring!
    Frances

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  8. Wonderful pictures and reminds me of my home place that I hopefully will be returning to soon.
    I had an orchard that I planted 30 years ago. Thank you for your kind comments.

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  9. Good afternoon Sweet Bay ~ Loved the pictures. I also love crepe myrtle bark. Your snow was just enough to not be too much, a powdering to make everything have a quiet loveliness.

    It is COLD down here in s.e. FL also. It felt like it was 22 this morning, and it's cold out now with the wind blowing, even though the sun is shining.

    It should warm up in the next couple of day.

    FlowerLady

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  10. Hi Sweetbay,

    Oh you got snow....and is it ever beautiful!

    I so agree with you..the bark of trees is fantastically beautiful...So much to offer from the furrowed oaks to that smooth crape myrtle. I have a Natchez and it has beautiful bark.

    The forecast is for warmer days so maybe we will see more of the spring bloom you've shown us!

    gail

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  11. Hi Linda. Thank you. :)

    Hi Tina, and thank you for your kind words. I read about Prunus mume in Elizabeth Lawrence's A Southern Garden. She was always on a mission to find as many winter-flowering plants as she could. Plus, there are several at the JC Raulston Arboretum. EL got her Landscape Architecture degree at NCSU, so it's not surprising that the Arboretum is influenced by her. When she wrote A Southern Garden she practically lived across the street from campus.

    The white flower is Lonicera fragantissima, commonly known as First Breath of Spring or Winter Honeysuckle.

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  12. Thank you Frances. :)

    Hi Ernestine and thank you for visiting.

    There's nothing as beautiful as an orchard full of blooms, is there? My two little apple trees certainly don't constitute an orchard, but one can stretch out under the flowers and dream. :)

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  13. Hi FlowerLady, yes Crape Myrtle bark is lovely. You're right, that snow was just like a covering of powdered sugar, enough to sweeten the scene but not cause any trouble.

    So the cold dipped all the way down to Florida! Yesterday morning was absolutely bone chilling. It's warming up already today, and this weekend is going to be warm and beautiful.

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  14. Hi Gail,

    I was surprised to wake up to snow, especially as it started as rain. Of course snow is always a surprise here, and I have learned never, ever to expect it.

    Natchez has beautiful bark. The JC Raulston Arboretum has three L. fauriei (straight species) and the bark is wild. They get *big* too. There is also of course a Natchez in their white garden. :) It's lovely.

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  15. Those were both beautiful days. We're supposed to get 4 to 8 inches of snow tomorrow. It's not to start until after 9 am, so we'll be at school before it starts. I hope they close school based on how it looks to be later in the day.

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