Blossom Time (1)

Right now my garden is frothy with the blossom of fruit trees. While perhaps a little plainer than the ornamental cherries and crab apples, they do give a lovely show of graceful flowers. The pink flush on the backs of the petals of the apple blossom pictured here really appeals to me. There’s something about the soft shading of the petals and the deeper pink of the unopened buds that’s particularly pretty in combination with the delicacy of the white.

The blossom in these photographs belongs to our Braeburn apple tree. It’s a small tree but gives a good crop of crisp, tasty apples. (We also have a Cox’s Orange Pippin, which is still very young. I prefer the Braeburn apples.) We aren’t the only ones that like the apples though – any windfalls are a magnet for blackbirds and wood pigeons. It can be quite entertaining to watch them competing for the fallen apples. Luckily for the birds, though, an apple is big enough to satisfy the appetites of several hopefuls.

While they’re in flower, the apple trees are the biggest provider of flowers for any bees or other pollinating insects that are around. So not only do the trees provide us with food and beautiful flowers, they are an important source of pollen and nectar early in the year.

I have other young fruit trees in the garden too. Especially beautiful is the cherry tree – just as much as any of the ornamental varieties – and that’s my next set of flowers to photograph. I’ll show you the results next week! 🙂

Apple Blossom

Not Yellow: White Daffodils

My childhood image of daffodils was always of brilliant yellow flowers. There were borders of them growing along all the edges of my parents’ garden and a few miles away there were vast swathes of them growing alongside a river. Some had a bit of orange on the cup, but most were yellow.

I do have a number of yellow daffodils in my own garden. I especially like the tiny ones because their short stems make them less likely to get flattened if it’s windy. But now I have more white ones (some with an orange or pale yellow cup). The idea of having the white daffodils was to give a more sympathetic backdrop to the hellebores which are still in flower. (The yellow daffodils can look a rather harsh colour when growing alongside the pinks and creams of the hellebores.)

Unfortunately for my colour scheme, that didn’t really work – turns out I have a number of yellow daffodils growing close to the hellebores after all. The problem is that bulbs so often get accidentally dug up and then replanted in the wrong place. I’ll need to shift those yellow daffodils and be a bit more careful in future!

Meanwhile, if there’s time away from all the work needed in the garden, I must bring some of the daffodils indoors to photograph them. It has been too windy outside to photograph many of them there. Breezy days are all part of the joys of spring flower photography, hehe!

white daffodil

Calm White

Spring here can be full of colour. There are the reds and pinks of hellebores, and of tulips later on. Of course there are the yellows of daffodils that mean spring to most of us. And above all, I love the blues of anemones, hyacinths and grape hyacinths.

Some white can be a welcome change. White flowers have an air of freshness and for me at least, a more natural, less ‘bred’ look than many other garden flowers. The simplicity of the colour can lend a calm feeling to the area they’re planted in. Less distracting or attention-grabbing than the more colourful spring blooms.

The pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) photographed here is growing near one end of the pond I’ve been building. I’m hoping that it will give a softer and slightly wilder feel to the area around the pond in spring. (Pulsatilla vulgaris is actually native to the UK.)

That wilder feel that I’d like won’t carry on through the the rest of the year. Because nearby there are clumps of echinaceas in an intense red and a (fortunately subtler) orange that will demand attention during late summer. The echinaceas are happy there so I won’t move them. They’re short-lived plants, so when they need to be replaced, it will be a bit further away.

For now, though, I’m enjoying the delicate look of these delightfully fluffy white flowers.

Flower of Pulsatilla vulgaris (pasque flower) in white.