A Good Year for Crabapples, and Other News
This has been an exceptionally good year for our ‘Donald Wyman’ Crabapple, which stands in what I call the Left Bank of the Front Garden. These days it is just smothered in blossoms.
We’ve had this crab for at least a dozen years. Some people are wary of planting Crabapples because they can be prone to disease, but ‘Donald Wyman’ has remained hale and hearty. Crabapples are excellent small trees for birds and pollinators. Doug Tallamy listed them among the most valuable genera for supporting biodiversity.
And their beauty gives human spirits a lift as well. ‘Donald Wyman’ flowers are white but the buds are pink, which makes for a nice combination.
The only thing I don’t like about Crabapples is that I don’t have space for a Crabapple allée. Nor do I have a pond to reflect their masses of bloom. It’s very unfair, but there it is.
We have a second Crabapple in the Back Garden – ‘Golden Raindrops’, planted about 3 years ago. It’s a late bloomer – you can’t even see the flower buds yet.
On another front, my seed starting venture is doing pretty well, except it turns out that I sowed certain seeds too early. Many of the Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia) and ‘Italian White’ Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) had outgrown their starter cells and were crowding their neighbors.
Unfortunately it’s still too cold to plant these guys outside so I moved them into plastic cups with holes for drainage. Fortunately there is still room for them under the grow lights.
Except for this guy, he’s too big, so I moved him to the back porch.
I’m also really happy with the Caladiums that I’ve started indoors from bulbs. One thing I learned is that you should scoop out the “eyes” of the Caladium bulbs (Caladiums are tubers, like potatoes). This causes the bulb to sprout a lot more leaves. Now if only the soil would get warm enough so I could move these guys into outdoor containers.
Finally, we learned this weekend that part of the sewer line from the street to our house needs to be replaced, which is likely to require digging an 8′ by 3′ trench through part of the Front Garden. Further bulletins as developments occur.
Do you consider Crabapples one of your favorite small flowering trees? Justify yourself if your answer is no.