Friday, March 28, 2008

The flowering plums were lonely this year


These beautiful flowering plums usually bloom in March. The paperwhite narcissus under them usually start in late January and bloom into March so the two overlap. The violets start earlier, but also usually are in bloom with the trees. This year the paperwhites started much earlier, and were done before the trees started flowering, and the violets were just finishing too. These pictures are from last year in early March, when they were blooming together.

The paperwhite narcissus are the kind usually used for forcing to bloom early, since they do not require chilling like most bulbs. If they're forced in good potting soil with fertilizer, and planted out soon after with bulb food and rock phosphate, they will successfully naturalise here (zone 7, south slope, 2500 ft).

They regularly bloom for 2 months in the middle of winter, cheering up the view. They usually get snowed on or frozen, and survive it just fine. This year we had early rains (September, I think), which started a lot of bulbs growing early. The winter iris and violets started early too. Then we had extra cold in Jan & Feb, so the plums are maybe late.

So the flowering plums were lonely this year.

They finished this last week. The pears are starting to bloom this week.

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