Thursday, April 29, 2010

More blossoming trees than I'd realized

I've got to get my husband to sit down with me and show me how to put photos on this blog. I want to write about all the amazing things that are growing in our gardens, and I don't have photos! We went through beautiful forsythia - the blooms this year seemed to be a richer yellow than usual ... almost toward orange when evening was coming on.

The pear tree bloomed its white blooms, beginning over two weeks ago and there was a lot of weather variation while this was going on. There were some really cold days and I worried about whether there would be pollinating insects around at the right time. My concerns are selfish, I admit. I'm really the only one who enjoys pears and last year there weren't many (about two dozen), in contrast to the year before when it was a 1 1/2 bushel harvest. I'm greedy.

There's an apple tree still blossoming ... and this is the year we begin to prune it and take better care to clear up fallen apples and prevent the (insect) that lays eggs in the fruit, which then hatch and eat the fruit, which then falls off the tree and the larvae pupate in the ground to hatch next year. We want apples that we can eat, without the labour of cutting them into small pieces to salvage what can be made into apple sauce. Up until now I've just let the fruit drop for whatever critters want to eat 'wormy' apples. But I've decided I want to have out own so need to do the research and the bit of extra work.

Then there's the crabapple tree, which has the most amazing dark pink flowers right now. It's a bit close to the house and we have to keep a few low branches pruned so we don't have to duck all the time when we head through the yard ... but right now I'm ready to forgive it for catching my hair clip. It is absolutely gorgeous! And it adds a scent to the back yard that is absolutely heady. The spurge blooming acid yellow on the hill adds to this scent. Lilacs aren't out yet, but the buds are coming along nicely.

Bright yellow tulips by the one back door are fading and have a new beauty as the petals become more fragile and a softer colour. The large red tulips in the back flower garden seem to have larger blooms this year than ever before, and their stamens seem to be extra heavy with blue/purple pollen. (for real purple pollen you have to look inside perennial poppies, which come out in June).

What else is interesting? Last year I planted rutabaga seeds from a three year old package and I put them in late, really late. The body of the rutabagas didn't really swell and I didn't get anything to harvest. But it had been a gamble and I didn't think anything of it. Well, two rutabagas made it through our funny freeze-thaw/scant-snow winter and are growing wonderful bouquets of leaves. I anticipate them sending out stalks and going to seed.... a complete bonus. Depending on time frame, maybe I'll have seeds that I can plant to get a harvest of rutabagas this year. But I don't know ... I've never managed to have good rutabagas and I've never had one winter over. The experimental gardener, that's me!

I do have kale, swiss chard and lettuce wintered over. The kale is farthest along. As a matter of fact I'm having to cut off the shoots that are bolting, wanting to flower. And I laugh at myself for worrying whether we'd run out of kale: new plants are coming up from seed the plants shed into the one vegetable bed and along the paths on both sides. I'm hoping to have swiss chard and lettuce to harvest before they too send up stalks and set seed. This will be the fifth season for the Little Gem Pearl lettuce, ie I bought the original seeds in 2006. I don't think it's crossed with any other lettuce. Other kinds haven't flowered at the same time. I'm not a consistent note-taker.

Out of time for this note.

Best regards, Why's Woman

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