Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Drunk on blossom

Innumerable blossom trees overcame all other impressions in the Blue Mountains last weekend; I was intoxicated by the dainty fly-away petals everywhere. Serried sylvan rows of white blooms here and there, scattered trees of pink and white, sporadically white alone. Luscious double blooms of the Mount Fugi (Shirotae, above) cherry which I remember in my childhood garden, flowering for my sister’s birthday, and tiny blooms of (I suspect) fruit trees. Delicate white petals had fallen onto still water, dappling the dark surfaces, and onto stone paths and lawn.
While blossom trees are not in the garden at Possum Creek (yet), they will influence it. Our trees include a weeping white Robinia (or wisteria tree), a couple of superb white dogwoods and effectively 2 other trees: two large shrubs with perfumed white flowers: Philadelphus `Natchez’. Walk out to the orchard and half of the heritage dwarf apples and pears are covered with the delicate petals of true blossom – depending on your point of view.
Soft chamois-like flowers of Magnolias, waxy citrus blooms, spidery Grevilleas; I just can’t call them blossom. But while the flowers – blossom - of orchard trees enchant, it’s a good moment to think about the best and consider an addition to the garden.

Petticoats of flowering peaches are so very ruffled; crabapples with the trifecta of showy blooms, fruit and autumn tints can be too flashy (especially the hot pink flower forms), but modest ornamental pears (Pyrus) have delicate white blooms, often with a hint of young leaves to confer the air of a little clothing; a satisfying subtlety.
I’d planned a crabapple walk for my garden but `it didn’t get past the committee’ as my sister says. Hellebores, spring bulbs, woodland perennials to clothe the floor each side of a path of flagstones and a feature at the end, maybe a very simple statue or a fairly plain wooden seat.
Possum Creek has evolved into a very different garden than I’d hoped for 20 years ago, and a straight double row of crabs is just too formal for J who – in any case - likes his trees a safe distance from the house. But some small informal blossom trees (and perhaps a curving path) – that I can work on.

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