Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Waiting Game


After what seems an interminable wait the very first ever flowers of my crab apple opened fully this weekend. They have been teasing me most of this month. Malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel' arrived as a bare rooted plant from Victoriana Nursery Gardens last February. It promised scented white flowers followed by clusters of small red fruits. When researching which crab apple to buy there were three main factors which made me chose 'Red Sentinel' i.e. white flowers, good disease resistance and finally fruits that apparently cling on to the tree for a long time. In her book 'The Winter Garden' Val Bourne writes "Crab apples are also great trees for winter fruits. When it comes to selecting varieties, one red-fruiting form stands supreme - Malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel'. The abundant bright red fruits, which follow white spring flowers, are studded in clusters along the branches and persist well into winter. A great advantage of the tree is that it does not suffer from scab, a scourge of many other crab apples." Sold! Later in the year we saw a more mature specimen of my malus in full fruit mode which only served to confirm my feelings that I had made the right decision.


I thought that I saw signs of flowers towards the end of March and sure enough this was confirmed as the month moved on to April. There's been a progress check most days and when signs of colour finally appeared I was delighted but mystified. The buds are most pink as you can see in the photographs but sure enough on opening the pink has morphed to the promised white. As for scent my nose has not detected any yet but so far there is only the one sprig that is fully open. It has also been noticeably colder here since yesterday afternoon which may affect the scent. Time will tell but so far so good. I'm like the cat who has got the cream and if I could purr I would! Are you playing the waiting game this spring and if so what are you waiting for?

25 comments:

  1. What a beautiful selection! Congratulations :) Being in a much warmer climate, I am waiting for my new roses to bloom... The Alnwick Rose is just opening its first flower now - hurray!

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    1. Oh Amy do hope that your 'Alnwick Rose' lives up to your expectations. It's so exciting waiting for that very first flowering :)

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  2. That looks well worth the wait Anna! Do let us know if you detect the scent later on :)

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    1. Only a faint scent up to now but that may be down to my nose :(

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  3. A Crab Apple tree makes a wonderful contribution to any garden. We visited a garden last year with a double row of mature 'Red Sentinel' in flower, stunning sight. We have a Golden Hornet, which I can see through the window as I write this in full flower.

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    1. Now that would be fatal Brian. I would be forever looking out of the window :)

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  4. Such beautiful blooms--worth the wait! We have several crabapples, but they were planted before we moved here so I don't know the names of any of them. My favorite is a white-blossomed one that sounds similar to yours. It's covered in red berries in the winter--until the birds find them, that is!

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    1. What a fine inheritance Rose. I'm quite happy for the birds to find the berries but I'm hoping that it's later rather than sooner.

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  5. I think Val Bourne's described it beautifully, in fact, I quite fancy one myself after reading that. I'm waiting on my two little apple trees to burst in to blossom, not sure they're going to as there's no signs at all. I moved them from containers in to the ground not long ago so I'm wondering if this will set them back.

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    1. Val Bourne's writing has tempted me into buying a few plants Jo. Maybe your apples are having a gap year after the move and will come back next spring smothered in blossom.

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  6. It's gorgeous, Anna, like all crab apples and I'd have liked to plant more in my garden. Just planted Prairie Fire last autumn and the flowers and foliage are delightful. Had Butterball in my last garden which was also a star and held on to its fruit for a very long time.

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    1. Oh I've not heard of 'Prarie Fire Annette so will have to look that up but I've seen photos of 'Butterball' which looks most appealing. I'm sure that I've room for another :)

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  7. I love the blossom of crab apples. You are right to choose a recommended variety; I have a red on which the apples remain all winter (although this year for the first time birds took the apples in late winter - I'm happy about that) and a yellow which fall almost as soon as they are ripe!

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    1. Oh it sounds as if your birds were most considerate this past winter Christina. A shame that the yellow variety does not cling on longer.

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  8. Good choice - will you be making crab apple jelly?

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    1. I dare not think that far ahead Pauline in case I tempt fate :)

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  9. It's really pretty blossom, and isn't it great when you find THE one you are looking for! I have just planted a new rose which will keep me on tenterhooks, as well as a new Viburnum that is leafing out nicely.

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    1. Cathy it's a rather special moment when you track THE one down! I look forward to being introduced to your new rose and viburnum in due course.

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  10. Crab apple flowers are always so lovely, this year I am looking forward to seeing all my plants coming up after their garden move last year, that they have survived, I'm really enjoying seeing them all come into flower now :)

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    1. How relieved and pleased you must be Rona that they have survived a major upheaval. You must be so exciting at seeing familiar friends in a new garden.

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  11. Beautiful blossom Anna. I may have another opening for a tree in my garden, depending on what we decide to do with the area where the now-redundant oil tank sits. A crab apple is a definite possibility. My own blossom obsession is focused on the plum and pear, both planted winter 2013. This is the first year of any blossom, dare I hope for fruit?!

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    1. Oh new planting space Janet = decisions, decisions! My pear was planted in the autumn of 2011 and fruited for the first time in 2014 - all of 3 fruits. The advice I've been given cautions patience but who knows - your pear may be a speed merchant :)

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  12. What a beauty. I love Malus, you get gorgeous blossom and then beautiful fruit. I can' t think of any other tree that does all that.

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    1. Oh I would include apples in the same breath too Chloris :)

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  13. Anna, I've been away from your blog for too long and am now engaging in an evening of binge reading! Spring is just arriving in my part of the world, but this photo reminded me of what I have to look forward to. It's beautiful. -Jean

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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.