Saturday, March 16, 2013

Somebody thinks it's spring

Certain trees are starting to flower around our neighborhood. This one is a variety of plum in our back yard. It's one of several in the gardens around us. I can also see that several other kinds of early flowering trees are fat with buds on the verge of opening.

Plum blossoms in the garden. I hope they don't freeze before they get pollinated.

I would be more enthusiastic about it if the morning temperatures were above zero. Well, this morning we're at +2ºC, so I guess that counts, but not much. I want to see double digits!


  1. Our neighbour lost all her apricot flowers in yesterday's frost. Our fruit trees aren't looking particularly close to flowering, and there isn't much around for the bees -- mostly just blackthorn. I've seen quite a few mason bees that have conked out already.

    1. Susan... what you are seeing is not Blackthorn..
      it is a wild plum that comes out earlier than true blackthorn...
      there are a number of varieties, but all flower about a month earler than blackthorn
      [through to an overlap period of about a week].
      When they are in leaf, you will see that the leaves are shorter and wider and rounder...
      and when in fruit, the fruit are more spherical...
      like a miniature, dark purple Mirabelle...
      and when ripe, if you peel the tart skin off, they are edible raw.
      Also, unlike Sloes, you can get a jam from them.
      The rooting stock has long been favoured by plants"persons" as a dwarfing stock for grafting plum varieties...
      We have two different ones on site here...
      there is one in flower in the verger [brown now,after yesterday] that marks the site of some of Pickle...
      we planted a grafted Mirabelle over her that got "mowed" by Richard because he didn't know it was there...
      we've left it as an early "feed" for the bees.
      The other is the "sloe" we use for making Sloe Rum... whilst obviously swollen, this hasn't even started to break bud yet... and the Blackthorn next to it haven't even a sign of swelling in the buds.
      Our Sloe Rum bush is most likely a hybrid or a sport... but it is soooo productive... I've had to support branches before now because of the weight of fruit.

    2. Tim: thanks. I've had a brief furtle in the literature. These prunus all hybridise so easily it's unbelievably complicated. Everywhere is going to have some slightly different group of plum type trees as a result. Too complicated to sort out except by close observation on a site by site basis, as you have done. I'll just have to start refering to Prunus spp and leave it at that.

    3. What in the world is a furtle? It's not in any of my dictionaries. Sound like the past tense of a hypothetical verb "to fartle." Wish you people would speak English LOL.

    4. A "furtle", Ken, is a quick search for something...
      Susan "furtled" in the literature about Prunus spp...
      I might have a "furtle" or "froddle" for something in my wife's handbag...
      but probably not [she keeps mice traps in there]...
      you would have a "furtle" in the kitchen drawers...
      to search for that missing peeler that the "kitchen gremlin" put in another drawer to mess with your mind...
      we would have a "furtle" or "froddle" in the soil around the new potatoes, so that the "pibs" keep growing...
      we all have a "froddle" in our pockets for loose change...
      but you'd be more likely to have a quick "furtle" in your wallet or French style manbag for the exact change!
      Now that should be as clear as mud...
      to a blind man sitting at one corner of a round table...
      talking to his deaf and dumb daughter.

      furtle = a quick search with eyes and/or hands
      froddle = a quick search with hands only

  2. Great picture Walt... somewhat Japanese silk painting in style.

  3. This is even more beautiful to see, I'm sure, given the chill in the air. You're wishing to see double digits; I'm wishing to see 20s!

  4. "Les intouchables" was great. Which '97 movie did you watch?
    Your current weather says it is 9C at 3 pm, with light rain. It almost got to double digits.

  5. Lovely! I just can't wait for spring blooms!

    We had 70° F yesterday... but are expecting snow showers the next few days, and a low of 19° on Tuesday!? What!?!?

  6. Ça alors ! Je pensais que nous avions le même climat mais les prunus sont loin d'être fleuris près de chez moi.

  7. Since you didn't bother to tell us the title of the 1997 movie, how would we know to which cell phones you are referring?

  8. susan, there are only these trees and one other (I don't know what it is, but the flowers are a vibrant hot pink), flowering around us so far.

    tim, thanks.

    mitchell, true. I can wish for 20s, too, can't I?

    nadege & starman, it was "My Best Friend's Wedding."

    judy, crazy!

    olivier, moi, j'ai hâte de voir les petites fleurs qui ne sont pas encore ouvertes chez nous (sauf quelques pâquerettes).


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