greentapestry : Garden Bloggers Bloom Day ~ December 2014

Monday, 15 December 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day ~ December 2014


"We are into December, Mid-winter-monath in old Saxon, and what a difficult time it is to produce flowers to fill even a few vases in the house. The winter flowering - cherry, Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis' is a great stand-by. I have been cutting small branches of it for two weeks past, standing them in water in a warm room, when the green buds surprisingly expand into the white, faintly-scented blossom suggestive of spring. This is a little tree which should be planted in every garden. It doesn't take up much space, and pays a rich dividend for picking from November until March. Even if frost catches some of the buds, it seems able, valiant little thing that it is, to create a fresh supply. This year, the winter cherry was in full flower in the open during the first fortnight of November ; I picked bucketfuls of the long white sprays; then came two nights of frost on November 15th and 16th; the remaining blossom was very literally browned - off, I despaired of getting any more for weeks to come. But ten days later, when the weather had more of less recovered itself, a whole new batch of buds was ready to come out, and I got another bucketful as fresh and white and as virgin as anything in May. 

There is a variety of this cherry called 'Autumnalis Rosea', slightly tinged with pink; I prefer the white myself, but that is a matter of taste'. 

~ Vita Sackville West, 1892 -1962.

Sadly my beloved Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis Rosea' is now a pale ghost of its former self. It has probably reached the quarter of a century mark and although still producing flowers, they seem to be increasingly sparse and now mainly decorate the higher branches of the tree. Picking any branches for vases would now be a ladder job even for himself who is a good six footer. Taking photos of the clusters of blossoms is a challenge too which was beyond me today so the above photo is of a solitary lower down open flower. This year the tree was showing some blossom in October, which must be the earliest I've seen it in flower. I think though that the time has come for a replacement reluctant that I am to cull it. This time round I will be looking for the white flowering version which I could not track down all those years ago.

Thanks as always to Carol over at 'May Dreams Gardens' for hosting this inspirational meme, which I always visit equipped with notepad and pen.

30 comments:

  1. What an interesting quote, which book is it from? it is sad when you have to say good bye to a large plant but just think of the opportunities the space will provide

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    1. In answer to your question Helen I'm not sure. I came across the extract in 'Vita Sackville - West The Illustrated Garden Book - A New Anthology' by Robin Lane Fox. Yes there will be some sadness at its departure but it's had its day.

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  2. Usually when I see something attractive that grows in your part of the world, there is some reason that it does not grow in my climate. This looks to be an exception. University of Florida says it will work but they do caution that it may be hard to find.

    Happy Bloom Day

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    1. It's a vice-versa situation Jean. Thanks for your comment and I do hope that if ye should seek that ye will find :)

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  3. It's sad to say goodbye to an old friend, as this tree obviously is, but it's also sad to see a plant which isn't at its best. I bet the white version is beautiful.

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    1. I think that the white flowering version is going to be simply stunning Jo if I can get my hands on it :)

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  4. You will miss such a beauty in your garden. You can tell from your words that you have much affection for it and hope if and when you come to it you are able to find the replacement you desire.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Angie - yes it is a well loved plant and one of our very first plantings in the garden. I will be looking out for a replacement soon and will report back.

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  5. Very pretty dainty flower
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
    Lea

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    1. Thanks for your visit and comment Lea :)

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  6. I never knew there was a winter flowering cherry! It's lovely.

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    1. Oh welcome and many thanks for your comment Betty. It's really an autumn flowering cherry as it stutters over winter and then returns with a second flush come the spring. Looking forward to seeing what is growing in your garden in New Zealand where summer must be nearly upon you.

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  7. The Autumn flowering Cherry is lovely tree to have in the garden. It is always sad when a mature tree is removed. Do you think it could be pruned hard or even pollarded in the spring to revitalise it?

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    1. It is indeed sad Brian :( I think that I should have done some more pruning when it was younger so I will just have to be ruthless in this instance and start afresh.

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  8. But how lovely to have enjoyed it throughout its entire blooming life! I hooe you find the perfect replacement Anna.

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  9. What a shame to have to say goodbye to an old friend, I hope you can find a replacement. I ordered a white one, it flowered with pink blossom, it was replaced and the second one had pink flowers, I give up. It only flowers for 2 weeks in the spring so it is having to go, space is too precious for just 2 weeks of blossom!

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    1. Oh it's so annoying when that happens Pauline. I'm surprised that it has only flowered for two weeks and then only in spring. I wonder whether you have been supplied with the correct plant. Here mine always has an autumn show followed by a second flush come spring. Yes two weeks of blossom is definitely not adequate payment for a year's parking place.

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  10. What a lovely shrub to have in flower at this time of year - a pity it is past its best I hope you are able to find a white replacement.

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    1. It is a great tree to have in flower in the darker colder days Elaine. I hope to sort out a successor soon.

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  11. I think this is one tree that should be in every garden. It has such lovely delicate blossom. I find that it starts blooming in November and carries on until it gets frosted. As soon as the frosts stop being so fierce off it goes again. I love both the pink and the white.
    I love the Vita quote.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more Chloris. I think that my tree will have taken a knock in the last couple of days but will show more colour come spring.

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  12. It's a lovely tree but I never had much luck when I grew it in Ireland but I guess it wasn't in an ideal spot. I'm sure you'll come up with something nice to replace it. Didn't realise it's so short-lived. Nice quote, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Oh what a shame that it did not flourish with you Annette. I would think that it's life span would have been longer if I had paid better attention to pruning.

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  13. I suppose we can't expect our plants to last forever - unless they are OK trees, I suppose. Hope you find a replacement soonish

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    1. I think that it would be unrealistic of us to expect our plants to carry on forever Cathy but no doubt some will outlive us. I think that this one would have fared better if I had pruned it more vigorously when it was younger :(

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  14. We need our winter-bloomers, don't we? I hope you can get some blossoms without risk of injury. And I hope you can find the white variety although I do believe the pink is quite pretty.

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    1. Thanks Grace - I wonder why the pink should appeal to you :)

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  15. It's so sad to have to replace a tree. That's a poignant picture of it.

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    1. Welcome and thanks for your comment :) It is sad but there will be much to look forward to with the arrival of a new addition to the garden.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.