Tag Archives: quince

A Macro View of Spring

After getting a much nicer D-SLR camera, I realized a feature that had been on my more simple point-and-shoot camera.  I am very happy to have the new D-SLR, but I am also happy to know that one type of picture I was always struggling to get with my point-and-shoot is not so hard after all!

There is a macro setting that basically  instructs the camera to use a shorter focal length to focus on a nearby object in the foreground.

I like using this feature to get detailed shots of blooms or different features of plants.  So here’s a look at some of the blooms from my last post – only in macro!

Saucer Magnolia Tree (Magnolia x soulangeana)
Saucer Magnolia Tree (Magnolia x soulangeana)
Flowering Almond Bush (Prunus glandulosa)
Flowering Quince Bush (Chaenomeles speciosa)
Euphorbia martinii 'Tiny Tim'
Flowering Peach Tree (Prunus persica)
Flowering Peach Tree (Prunus persica)
Dwarf Rhododendron
Our "wild" violets - Wooly Blue Violet (Viola sororia)

Miniature Daffodils - thumb used for size comparison

Signs of Spring

A little over a week ago was the first day of Spring.  This year Spring greeted central Oklahoma with another snow event.  For the first time in my life, I lost count of how many times it snowed on us this Winter!  It was a record breaking year.

The good news to come from the snow is that everything was well watered throughout the cold half of the year.  And now the trees are starting to wake from their slumber.

A blooming fruit tree near our house

Every year I notice new things in the Spring.  This year I noticed many trees in my neighborhood covered in little fuzzy red along the tips of their branches.  The trees were so thoroughly covered that it almost looked like fall colors on the trees.  I thought maybe it was the new leaves coming out of buds on the trees.  On closer inspection, I decided they weren’t leaf buds emerging, but tiny blossoms.  These trees are not what I would considering flowering trees.  I’m wondering if these trees always light up red in the Spring or if this only happens after really wet Winters like the one we just had.  I’m thinking this Winter and Spring were special.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of these trees and now they have stopped their show of red.  I’ll be watching for this next year.

I pass this Forsythia on my way to work every morning. I like to call it the "Glowing Orb of Gold."
Our quince bush as of a couple of days ago.

Colors that I never miss in the Spring are the yellow Forsythias and pink Quince bushes.  They are some of my favorite colors during the year.  This year our Quince bush bloomed more than a month later than it did last year!  There are many other fruit trees in bloom: cherry, plum, peach and pear.

I pass this beautiful tree on my way to work each morning, as well. I believe it is a Cherry tree. It is old and large and gorgeous. I couldn't capture it well in the picture. The blooms sort of blend in with the sky color. I'll have to try again next year.

Christie and I spent some time on Saturday just driving around town looking at all of the blooming trees.  It was like looking at Christmas lights.   We drove slowly down the streets, looking down each side street and backtracking whenever one of us announced a good tree worth turning around for.

Our Saucer Magnolia / Tulip Tree (Magnolia x soulangeana)

We didn’t realize how many large Saucer Magnolia/Tulip Trees (Magnolia x soulangeana) were in town until this weekend.  There are some surprisingly large ones in our neighborhood that must be very old, since they are relatively slow growing trees.  Many of these trees were in back yards and we only saw their tops over fences because we were looking for them as we drove around town.

My favorite Daffodil is white with a rusty orange center. We have just a couple of these blooming in our corner garden.

Daffodils and Hyacinth have been blooming all over town for a couple of weeks and Tulips are just getting started.  We are excited about the unveiling of our new tulip colors this year.  It won’t be long!

Our peach tree

Our multicolored Peach tree is blooming up a storm, as well.  The dual colors of this tree amazes everyone that looks at it.  I have a lot of close up (macro) pictures I will be sharing of many of these blooms over the next week.  Stay tuned!

Blooming in and out

Sorry for my unplanned hiatus over the last couple of weeks.  Life has been very busy!

As Spring approaches. more blooms are appearing – inside my greenhouse and outdoors.  I’ve gotten a couple of Gerbera daisy plants as gifts over the last 3 years or so.  Usually they were blooming when I received them, but I could never coax another bloom out of them.  For some reason, I’ve had trouble with them drying out and wilting, only to be revived again when I noticed and gave them a healthy watering.  But I never could keep them happy long enough to bloom – until now!

My first ever Gerbera daisy bloom
My first ever "earned" Gerbera daisy bloom

This Gerbera daisy just bloomed last week and still looks great.  Gerbera blooms seem to last quite a while.

The spring Crocus have broken through.
The spring Crocus have broken through.

In the corner garden, Daffodil, Tulip and Crocus stems have risen.  Only the purple crocus are blooming so far, but soon they will be joined by the orange crocus and the Daffodils.  It might be closer to May before we see Tulip blooms.

Buds on our Quince bush
Buds on our Quince bush

Our Quince bush is covered in buds again and will be opening up any day now.  It is a sight to behold.  We’ll probably be taking cuttings every couple of days to bring inside and enjoy at our dining table.


 

The first real quince fruit

We have a large quince bush in our backyard that presents a beautiful display of color in the early Spring, late Winter.  A number of people have asked me if it produces fruit and I always reply that it is just a flowering quince.  My neighbor, who has a degree in landscaping, told me that it probably still produces fruit.  Until recently, the only thing I had seen that resembled fruit was a little hard, dried and shriveled brown thing that I wasn’t really sure about.  I suspected it might be something that wasps make, called a gall, after reading about them in a plant book.

Unknown growth on my quince bush.  Might be a gall produced by a wasp.
Unknown growths on my quince bush (foreground left and background right). Might be a gall produced by a wasp.

I’ve tried looking online for similar galls on quince bushes, but haven’t found any.  I’m not really sure what those things are.  But sometime over the last week I spotted a definite fruit on my quince bush, for the first time.  This bush is just covered in blooms in the Spring, and yet, somehow, only one fruit formed on the whole bush.

The first real fruit that I have found on my quince bush (Chaenomeles speciosa)
The first real fruit that I have found on my quince bush (Chaenomeles speciosa)

I scoured the bush, looking very closely at every branch, trying to find additional fruits, but the only thing I could find was what looks like 2 dead fruits that might be from last year.  I’ll have to look more closely in the future.

Dead fruits overlooked until recently and possibly produced last summer.
Dead fruits overlooked until recently and possibly produced last summer.

If anyone knows what the mystery growths from the first picture might be, please let me know!


 

Flowering Quince – my earliest bloomer

I have a flowering quince bush in my backyard that has been there – probably – since shortly after the house was built in 1956.  During most of the year it is a nice, full green bush.  But for one month of the year, it is absolutely beautiful, covered in pink blossoms.

Quince blooms
Quince blooms
Quince blooms
Quince blooms

By the last week of January, the bush is covered in little round beads of pink.  The bush is attractive enough at this point.  The buds are nearly as attractive as the actual blooms.  Then, a couple of weeks later all of the buds begin to open and will continue for about a month.

Full quince bush in bloom
Full quince bush in bloom

The bare limbs and pink blooms have a wonderful artistic look.  The branches remind me of Asian art that incorporates so many blooming trees.  You can already see the first of the green leaves coming out.  The pink blooms will stay on the bush for a week or two after the leaves have come out before falling away.

Quince blooms
Quince blooms

I love that this bush blooms before anything else in my yard.  Other than this bush, my backyard looks like it is the dead of winter, but this bush declares that Spring is not far away.

Already I have some Daffodil buds visible and tulips are starting to break through the surface of the soil.  It won’t be long.