susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Fruiting Plum Trees

Plum trees flower so early in the season here, we rarely get fruit.
On top of that, we have had rain every day for over a week,
which is not great for pollination.

Above is a Santa Rosa plum tree whose fruit is so delicious to eat right out of hand.
The last time this tree bore fruit was 25 summers ago.  We took quart bags of home-grown plums on a family river rafting trip.  They were so juicy, just a few bites,
then see how far you can toss the pit.

This Japanese prune plum tree has borne only a handful of fruit in over 25 years.
It was swarming with insects that appeared to be fertilizing the blossoms,
on the cool, but dry afternoon, this photo was taken.

Besides conducive weather at pollination time, we need no more below freezing temperatures.  I will always remember when it was severely cold one Mother’s Day in early May – we lost the fruit from all of our trees that year.


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Pastel Tulips under Japanese Maple

Copy of DSCN2230

This particular green-leafed Japanese maple tree is leafing out, just as the tulips below begin to flower.  A bag of pastel tulips planted a few years ago is reaching maturity, and will need to be divided this year.  The yellow and pink flowers are so pretty, and the timing couldn’t be better as the tree is coming to life at the same time.

I have been photographing this tree for a few days trying to get desirable light and a background on which the tree’s new leaves would show up.  This morning’s photo was taken after the sun rose over the hills to the east;  tulips are shadowed by the house.


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Japanese Maple on the First Day of Autumn

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Actually, autumn began at 7:30 pm last night, but today is the first day of the new season.  The color change of the leaves is very subtle, as it is just beginning, in this tree.   If you look on the upper left side, you can notice the leaves getting lighter, as they lose the deep red color they had all summer long.

Yes, that is a four foot high (122 cm) deer fence around the tree trunk.  Although the tree appears to be tall enough that the deer cannot decimate its foliage, I will not even attempt to remove the fence until spring.  There is barely enough forage for the deer at this time of year, and I have seen hungry animals stand on their hind feet to eat whatever they can.


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White Aster

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I know I already did a post about aster flowers, but the white ones just bloomed.  Have you ever noticed that the white flower of a plant blooms at a different time than the other colored flowers?  I’m thinking of irises.  The bearded ones or the Japanese Iris.  White flowers bloom either before or after the other colors.  In the case of asters, the white flowers are later.  I really cannot remember what order the various colors of irises bloom.  This will give me something (another thing) to observe next year.  I am sure there are other flowers where the white specimen flowers at a different time, and I will have to pay more attention to find another example.

There is even a nursery devoted to white flowers.  But I believe they started like that, but have come around to selling many colors of flowers.

Last night, I cut stems of three colors of asters, and put them in a mini-vase to photograph in the morning.  Well, that did not happen, as I learned (the hard way) that aster flowers are not for cutting.  This morning they had closed up as though to say their time on this earth was done.  Well, at least the blooming plants look good massed in the garden beds.

Asiatic Tiger Lily

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Asiatic Tiger Lily

This is by far my favorite lily. I love it when it is not too hot and this flower comes into bloom. It means the flowers will stay longer. This year it is overcast with some rain showers, and the flowers love the weather.  With all the photos I’ve been taking of my flowers for this blog, I have documentation of how long they are staying in bloom.  Some varieties are staying around for a month or more.

I have found that the tall stems need to be tied up, as they are not strong enough to hold the blooms on their own. Perhaps the east facing location below the front deck has something to do with that, I don’t know.

The number of stems seems to have increased through the years. Last year, I stupidly put a clump of Japanese Iris next to these lilies, but now I see it is way too crowded. When the wet season comes, the irises will be moved – someplace, anyplace else. I want to have plenty of space for these lily bulbs to grow on their own.

White Iris

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White Iris

I took some of these to my art show last weekend. Some of the buds had yet to open, and they ended up looking good for an extra day. There was some discussion about whether these were Siberian or Japanese Iris, as I know they are not Bearded Iris by the greenery.

In this photo those are pink Rhododendrons in the background. The rhodies bloom in the same order every year, over an extended period of time. Same do the iris and a number of other flowers. In this case, the white iris bloom before the other colors, which include white and purple.

These flowers look exceptionally beautiful in a vase. Soon enough I will include photos of the flowers I grow, in vases I have made. Just another thing to arrange for…. I’m really not complaining, just trying to stay organized.

Japanese Maple with tulips

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Japanese Maple with tulips

This is the second year for the tulips and the tree – in a newer planting bed. The pink tulips are starting to fade while the yellow ones are coming on. When both colors are still here and the tree is just leafed out, is the prettiest display time for this combination.

The Japanese maple has very tiny flowers right now. I have not figured how to capture them with the camera – yet. It may take another year, as my window of opportunity is small.

According to its tag, this tree is supposed to get taller. Maybe then I can remove the deer fence/flower jail when it is not tulip season. Besides spring, there are other times of the year when the deer will look for anything fresh and green to eat. I believe the wildlife look at tulips and roses as humans see chocolate. Not that they taste similar, just that they are treats to savor. If no people are around to make the ‘natives’ keep their distance, they can get specially brazen with their choices of food.