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What's bloomin'?
Lewis Co., WA
375 Posts
April 14, 2019 - 9:42 pm

I trust that you will, of course, let me know when I've posted too often or too much (please), but I just live for the renewal of springtime.  I tend to make notes of first signs of something:  e.g., 3/15:  first violet green swallows arriving and passing through; 3/16:  first three Northern alligator lizards sunning themselves; 3/17:  first bumble bee and first Megachile....

Now, a month later as I obsessively stroll around observing the progression of the spring season on my property, I keep wondering what's going on in other gardeners'/orchardists' areas.  (--We even have an Italian Forum member.  Perhaps it's just me, but I even wonder what their spring is like).  Curiosity knows no end.

Here -- at the moment -- Amelanchier stolonifera is in full bloom along with the damson plums (Prunus insititia) persisting from the original homestead cabin that had been here before our time (--estimated ca. 1945-1976).  The Prunus rootstock 'Marianna 2624' has just finished its full bloom.  (It has produced some very tasty plums in the past, but the seeds are apparently sterile.)  Today was the FFO (first flower open) for the 'Bella di Giugno' and 'Butirra Precoce Morrettini' pears, as well as 'Schoolhouse' plum (European-type).  Japanese plum 'Satsuma" has been lamely trying to flower in the rain for the past week, but there is no other Japanese plum at the moment with which it can cross-pollinate, and I note that the base of the plant is apparently stricken with Northwestern Anthracnose.  Bummer.

During our brief "warm period" about 3 weeks ago, apples and pears were getting in gear and really starting to develop, but this cool, rainy interlude has largely put everything on "pause" mode.  It looks like various apples that I grafted in the last 4 years are going to bloom for the first time, but so far only 'Williams Pride' and 'St. Edmunds Pippin' are in the "pink bud stage."  The prospect of a few new apple cultivars blooming for the first time, however, has me planning a few controlled crosses.  ...I suppose that the subject of controlled hybridization is something for another Forum post some day.  

Always curious, Tim.

Vancouver SW Washington
686 Posts
April 15, 2019 - 12:26 pm

I do lots of controlled hybridizations every year which I also won't disclose here for the sake of space. One of the things that I have worked on for the last 15 years were between sweet cherry and the wild non bitter cherry version of our bitter cherry but progress has been slow but the notes are invaluable for anybody wanting to accomplish such. My space saving idea is to just (x) start a reply, (y) load your images of notes, (z) then delete your post. Some day when it rains I may try to see if that works then all my methods can be listed out as links on a page where we decide to share all these things.

I wonder about these alligator lizards, but more particular towards an interesting one I saw 24 months ago on the Angels Rest trail on the Columbia river that was a lizard far more attractive and slightly bigger. If one could cage them in a strawberry garden would they solve the problem of slugs eating the strawberry fruit?

151 Posts
April 15, 2019 - 6:55 pm

No fruiting plant is blooming here yet (15 April), including quince 'Pineapple' that in the past 5 years has opened blossoms by 31 March and in that time span has never started so late. Plenty of pink buds showing, though.

John S
2593 Posts
April 21, 2019 - 9:43 pm


Your posts are great.  Keep em coming.

Blooms are too numerous to mention.  Certainly apples, pears, plums, cherries, Asian pears.

John S

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