Saturday, February 9, 2013

Harbinger of Spring

In our area of Southern California, one of the first deciduous trees to bloom in the new year is the ornamental pear (Pyrus calleryana).  Last weekend, I noticed that buds had appeared.  This weekend, it's in full bloom.

Pyrus calleryana (variety unknown)
It's not just our ornamental pear that's suddenly burst into bloom - they're all over.  I saw half a dozen in bloom in a shopping center parking lot yesterday.  I passed others planted along the streets on my commute.  For the most part, I don't even notice these trees except when they're in bloom.  They've been used almost to excess here.  But I have to admit that, when they bloom, they're a welcome reminder that Spring is just around the corner.

With one exception, all of my other deciduous trees remain utterly bare.

Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku'

Fig 'Black Mission'

Persimmon 'Fuyu'

Plum 'Santa Rosa'
Our lone, self-fruiting cherry, does have some promising nubs.

Cherry 'Lapins'
Our orchid tree, which is semi-deciduous, is the major exception in our garden.  It put out new leaves late in the last year and started to bloom in early January.

Bauhinia x blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree)
I inherited all these trees, except the Japanese maple, when we bought the house 2 years ago.  Most were put in by the prior owner in the year before our purchase so they're still immature trees.  A few also have questionable placements.  Only the Persimmon bore any significant amount of fruit last year (which the squirrels and the raccoons got to before we did).  I have my fingers crossed that they'll all do better this year.  Hopefully, more blooms are just a turn of the calendar away...


  1. I'm a CA native and I miss how early spring comes. Callery pears are better choices for CA than here because they're highly susceptible to storm damage. But I love seeing rows of them in bloom. So fabulous! :o)

    1. I thought that blog name might signify time spent somewhere in the Southwest. Virginia is certainly a very different gardening environment. I hope your spring comes early.