May 29, 2012
Twenty-one Trees and Counting
When we moved into this house in 2007, there was just one crispy dogwood tree in the yard. We have since planted twenty-five trees (including the five that died, ugh) and transplanted the dogwood from the hot southwest corner of the house to the east side, where it is very happy. Actually, 'we' nothing. My husband did the hard word with shovel and pick axe to get the trees into the ground. Above is a shot of one of our three 'Royal Raindrops' crabapples, which were stunning a few weeks ago in full bloom. Especially at sunset, when the deep pink blossoms and maroon leaves seemed to be on fire.
We have seven 'Spring Snow' crabapples, and some of them are now tall enough to see when I glance out of our second-story windows. I love that! In our neighborhood you either see a gazillion roofs or trees when you look out the window. I'll take the trees, thanks. The weather was cool while the crabs were in bloom this year, so we didn't get to see many giant bumblebees. I caught this picture of one on a rare warm afternoon when the bees were out. It was as big as my thumb and busy as a . . . well, you know.
The one surviving 'Kwanzan' flowering cherry tree had some pretty pink flowers last month to remind me why I planted so many of these trees to begin with. We planted three in the backyard several years ago, and all three died the next summer. I researched and figured out they were planted a bit too deep in our heavy clay soil, which cherry trees hate (if only I'd known before planting!). Two more were planted in the front in imported, well-drained soil. They started the dying process last summer. The local nursery suggested the one that died one branch at a time must have had a disease. The other one looked like a grenade exploded inside its trunk, poor thing. Trees often die when several stresses combine, and our bottom-of-the-valley late spring frosts were likely a big stress on all these trees. Several other Kwanzans in neighboring yards died last year, so that made me feel better. A little.
Our five 'Shademaster' honey locusts haven't grown much yet but are very full of leaves this spring. I love their elegant branches that look good even in winter.
The two Korean 'Heartthrob' dogwoods that my husband planted for Mother's Day this year bring the dogwood total to five. I'll post some pictures when they bloom next month (Korean dogwoods bloom a month later than Florida dogwoods). Above is a shot of the white Cornus florida that is growing happily on the east of the house, nearby the transplanted pink dogwood. My 'Stellar Pink' Rutger's dogwood has just a few flowers again this year. It's planted on the north of the house and needs to grow taller to get more sunlight before it flowers well.
I was excited this spring to find several dogwood seedlings growing in my flower beds. I potted three of them up and have a spot planned for them when they get larger. I guess most dogwood seedlings are white, so that's probably what color these will be. I wonder how many years it will take before they flower. Won't it be fun to have a few trees in the yard that we grew from seed? Gardening is full of the thrill of anticipation.