Friday, March 26, 2010

Plants I'm Growing--First Blooms: Redbud

The first buds opened yesterday (March 25) on the redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) at the side of the house, near the garage. This is a variety with purple leaves, called "Forest Pansy." It was the wrong choice, but I didn't know any better at the time. It's not always easy to know what's the right thing to do, as Humphrey Bogart not so famously said, in The Maltese Falcon. A better choice would have been the Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis), as "Forest Pansy" suffers in the heat here, looking droopy in the dry summer months. As a result, it usually drops most of its buds before they open. I've been pruning it hard, hoping that its roots will keep growing while the canopy stays about the same. That and the heavy rains this year have left me with some hope that more than a few flowers will actually bloom this year. Pretty--and the flowers are tasty and festive in salads, too.

This is another plant that reminds me of Ohio. Everything seems to remind me of Ohio these days. We had one of these in the yard of my mother's house in Dayton. It fared much better there, shrugging off the cold and snow.

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