GBBD – What’s in Bloom at the Farm

A Pictorial Walk at the Nursery to See What is Blooming

If you want to see my garden, see the post, Monthly Weather Calendar  – March 2012, or see Last Rays of the Day for a early evening view yesterday. The bulbs and Hellebores are still blooming and not much has changed, so I decided to shake up my GBBD with a trip to the Farm. The image above is the Weeping Cherry by the house with a view towards the Koi pond.

Prunus subhirtella pendula

In the landscape, flowering trees play second fiddle to shade trees that provide framing, shade and structure to the landscape. But you can not beat flowering trees to provide powerful interest that only a few shade trees can compare when they are in bloom. Cherry trees, like all flowering trees, must fit into the landscape.

Honestly, the weeping cherry is a tree that is so often mistakenly sited. Homeowners purchase this tree as a cute flowering, barely beyond a whip of a plant and place it right up against the house in a shallow foundation bed.  Pick a variety of plant that suits the conditions because no tree is going to be happy in that three-foot wide foundation bed.

First, decide a suitable location before you select the kind or variety to be used, making sure to fit it into the landscape rather than simply placing it in a conveniently open spot. The same goes with ponds. Location matters, not just where it might be the most accessible or the prettiest for you to view. Ponds are living breathing landscape features and proper siting plays into their success.

The pond and fish are just waking up for the season. Daffodils are blooming in the rear of the photo.

The red maples are just waking as well. These trees get large and rank high as superb shade trees. Great varieties are October Glory, Autumn Flame, Red Sunset, Crimson Sentry, Celebration, and Crimson King.

The specimen tree, Acer palmatum, growing smaller and slower, includes, Bloodgood, Dissectum atropurpureum, Crimson Queen, Shidare, Katsura, and a host of other fine Japanese Maples. You can almost always find a place for them, but careful siting is in order. They do not like harsh wind or bright sun, preferring protected east to south-east locations to avoid NW winter winds.

The native range of the red maple, Acer rubrum.

The long path, and this is in the direction of the doe deer pens.

Young pears in bloom.

Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’

Bigger pears off to retail nurseries and huge landscape jobs. The pear is a wonderful flowering tree, loved by bees, but it does have a lot of negative press. They are deep-rooted, grow fast and can be invasive in some areas.

Did you know the Callery pear is programmed to keep its leaves and color long into winter?  It originates from southern China, where as the days get shorter, colder temperatures don’t arrive as quickly as they do here. Researchers are working on tweaking its seasonal adjustment to our climate, and also are tying to create pears that can produce flowers, but not the seeds or fruit.

It has been identified that the origin of invasive pear populations has “been linked to cross pollinations between genetically differing ornamental pear cultivars” planted nearby. Also add “the parent- age from sprouting Callery rootstock”, and a whole new group of viable hybrid Callery pear seedlings are possible. Pear cultivars such as ‘Bradford’, ‘Aristocrat’, or ‘Redspire’ are considered self-sterile, meaning that they need another of their kind planted nearby, but with so many pears planted in municipalities, the likelihood of viable offspring increases and multiplies. The pollinations between differing ornamental contemporary  pears has produced offspring that reverted back to the thorny pears from previous times. But, they are still a highly requested landscape tree and their four season beauty is the reason why.

If the rows are not tilled, the dandelions quickly populate. This row will be getting a haircut by the brush hog or tractor. You can see from this image that the farm is really huge. The forest you see in the background is at the end of the post.

Aren’t Chestnut trees pretty in Spring? I think this one is Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair’. I will see when it blooms.

In the woods on the farm, looking up at all the native trees, oaks, poplars, and maples.

Mossy finds.

Our area has been getting little rain, but this is a marshy area in the woods. It remains wet most of the time.

Join Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Always a fun time blog hopping the world.

Happy April 15th to all!


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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26 Responses to GBBD – What’s in Bloom at the Farm

  1. Bernieh says:

    Wow, what a fabulous place in Spring. Absolutely loved that first image.

  2. The pink/red tipped red maples look make a great picture as do the trees against the blue sky. Thank you for sharing the Farm with us on GBBD

  3. Victor Ho says:

    Looking good. Spring is always full of promises.

  4. I really like your woodland photos. I am really starting to like moss too.

  5. b-a-g says:

    It’s strange to think of pear trees as being invasive. I don’t think we have that problem in the UK. The dandelion photo is incredible.

  6. Erica says:

    Love the chestnut closeups. And yes, the pears are really invasive, but I have to admit the sight of hundreds of them along the highways is beautiful. Beautiful photos!

  7. HolleyGarden says:

    Love those red maples! I don’t see any around here – or maybe I’ve never noticed. I see I’m right on the line of where they grow. That Long Path is so inviting. And the pond is lovely. Happy GBBD!

  8. Loved the spring tour of the farm. I love your shot of the maples. My trees have all leafed out already and then we had a few cold night with frost that they didn’t like much. We often see the ornamental Bradford pear planted in landscapes here. Very fickle trees but the landscapers love to put them in.

  9. AngryRedhead says:

    I’m kinda sad to hear about the pears being invasive – they’re a popular crop to grow around here along with pecans, but maybe they have a hard time becoming invasive because of the harsh summers and are easily outcompeted? My dream is to have 50+ acres (right now living on 1/5 acre) of agricultural land, but to cover 50+ acres, I figured I would need to grow some BIG crops that do well with relatively little attention (aka not 20 acres of tomatoes) like pears, pecans, figs, Christmas trees, prickly pear, agave, and hay. Meh? They’re also working to develop a cold hardy olive that will grow well around here. That would be neat. Sorry! Totally tangential!

    I have a ‘Crimsom Queen’ Japanese maple in the backyard, and I placed it for optimal protection against the harsh summer heat. Surprisingly I only watered it 3-4 times last year. Despite the horrible drought, it seems to be doing fine. That is one tough tree!!

  10. not sure if my last comment went through so retyping as much as I can remember! I found those red maples lovely to look at in your photograph – it’s as if the tops are on fire. From a photographers POV seeing stretch of dandelions as far as the eye can see is beautiful. Dandelions sure are invasive though I was surprised to read about the pears – I suppose the landscapers want visual impact as soon as possible and then move on to the next project.

  11. gauchoman2002 says:

    The red maples are wonderful. I wish I had more land or an open site for a tree like that, though their range is just short of my neck of the woods here in North Dakota.

  12. Brenda Jeffs says:

    Donna your pictures are beautiful, enjoy reading your info. Great job!

  13. Barbie says:

    How totally gorgeous all the new colour is on your farm. The Pear trees and the blossoms are just amazing!

  14. Town Mouse says:

    Interesting post! We don’t usually think of trees when we think of blooms – big mistake. Happy bloom day!

  15. You are so right about planting trees in the right spot…just planted a native black cherry in the meadow where it will have lots of room and can shade an area if we lose our ash trees….I took a long time to consider where the pond would go before we had it built…those rows of trees especially the red maples are gorgeous…Japanese maples do not like my yard…too much wind…none have survived.

  16. Having log in issues, lost first comment. Love weeping cherries, thinking about one by the lake. Think it would be a lovely setting and there is a lot of room for it to be the shape it wants to be.

  17. Bom says:

    Definitely a huge farm. Wonderful wide angle shots, the weeping cherry, the pond, the maple trees, the path — is that a bench on the right? How wonderful to be able to sit amidst nature.

  18. deborahelliott says:

    I love the photo of the red maples all in a row, and I have to say even the dandelions are lovely! Spring is a fabulous time of year, and what a great place to experience it! I also really enjoyed your previous post with the beautiful late afternoon views in your garden.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, Everyone has commented on the subject of trees and so I thought that I would comment on your thoughts concerning ponds. I have been dying to add a pond, but am hesitating over the location and style. I agree with you that location is key. My husband prefers a natural pond, but I think natural ponds need to be big to look realistic. I don’t want it to look like an oversized puddle!

    • I prefer a natural pond unless an architectural pond is in order. These are usually referred to as water features because they are often for aesthetic purpose. Koi and lilies can be in them, but frogs, turtles, water bugs etc. are not necessarily welcomed due to the more austere and clean nature of the element. There are so many designs that can be implemented in between these extremes, but often, are not well done, like you mentioned, they look like a big puddle outlined in small rock. Natural ponds look their best in a natural setting, and take time to develop. You often see these water falls features right outside the backdoor in a suburban neighborhood and they look out of place. The pond I pictured is very large and not well represented in the photo. Plus trees over hang it and grasses and reeds grow in it. I have seen blue heron fishing in it too, but it is pretty deep and fish are very safe.

  20. The chestnut bud and the moss on the roots are wonderful images. I love the long lines in many of your photos…stunning.

  21. wifemothergardener says:

    So many pretty things blooming at the nursery. We seem to be about two weeks ahead of your in western PA. As always, I love your photography! It captures spring perfectly. And atleast I am pleased to have sighted our weeping cherry well 🙂 So many others I regret, but that is in the learning.

  22. Marguerite says:

    Great photos of all the trees coming to life. This is such a wonderful time of year seeing those new buds unfurl. The cherry tree is so lovely, glad you mentioned about placement, I see these poor things in tiny beds all the time. I also liked that it is backed by some evergreens in your picture. Small blooms on trees tend to get lost when people put them out the middle of a lawn, a nice green background shows them off wonderfully.

  23. Les says:

    The road I take to work is lined with a wilding wood of invasive pears. It is beautiful in spring and fall, but I know they are crowding out native plants.

  24. Ah, pretty, pretty. I love the shot of the Red Maples waking up. And thanks for all the great info!

  25. Greg says:

    When I moved to Kansas I kept noticing ornamenta pear trees in the wild, however they didn’t look like the normal thorny callery pear contractors used to plant before cultivars. And sure enough they are some kind of cross. They do look beautiful but odd in the pastures with the overpopulated Juniper virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar). Very nice photos. Good composition. I’m amazed how large the Prunus is.

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