Thursday, March 8, 2012

Inspiration

I have four flowering crabapples (Malus) in my garden.  The first one was an unplanned purchase - I was taken by the blooms at the garden center.  It was planted in a strange little nook in my garden.  For a while, I had dwarf gardenias growing under it.  Oh, how I wish I would have left them growing there!  Maybe one day I'll change it again and put them back!


The other three crabapple trees in my garden were inspired by the book "P. Allen Smith's Garden Home" (a book I just love - one day I'll do a book review on it).  I wanted the look he achieved of having flowering crabapples with intertwining branches.  (Page 69)  He has four, but my space works with three set in a triangle shape.  These are the trees in my winter garden.


They are in bloom now.


A crabapple tree has fruit 2" in diameter or smaller.  The fruit on my trees are tiny, measuring probably only about 1/2" in circumference.  Strictly ornamental, I could never gather enough of them to make jelly!

Flowering Crabapple

If you're thinking about getting a flowering crabapple, there are a lot of different varieties to choose from.  (I think mine are the variety 'Profusion'.)  Crabapples have a large range of colors, height, and growing zones, so a little research before purchasing would be beneficial.  Some grow tall, some spread.  There really is one for every garden!  The only problem I've had with my crabapples is their tendency to sucker.  And sucker.  And sucker.  And for the last couple of years, I've had a problems with those tent caterpillars, as they seem to love these trees as much as I do!


Inspiration comes to me in a lot of different ways.  A blog post.  A bloom at the garden center.  A sudden realization.  Magazines.  Books.  Websites.  Photos.  Like most gardeners, I'm always trying to make my garden better, prettier, more varied, more interesting.


I haven't quite achieved the look that P. Allen Smith did.  But maybe in another year or two.


I love these trees.  They're not the same kind, the same color, the same number, planted with the same companions, or even in the same type of bed as those in Mr. Smith's garden.  If you saw them, you'd never know where I got the inspiration.

But spring wouldn't be the same without these blooms.  Thanks, Mr. Smith!

57 comments:

  1. Lovely, Holley! I can't believe you have Crabapples blooming already! Gorgeous!

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  2. It seems early to me, too. But only about a week earlier than last year. It seems everything is in a hurry to bloom now!

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  3. They are beautiful. You've inspired me. Right now I'm wanting a dogwood tree.. the soil in Fort Worth is totally wrong for them and it would probably be more work than weeding (UGH!) but they remind me of life long ago and their simple white blooms always make me happy... We all have our dreams - maybe I should clear an area in the back yard and get ready for one more tree.

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    1. Oh, I just love dogwoods! And though my soil is acidic, and they grow well here, the soil in my garden is not rich enough for them. Maybe one day I'll be able to amend my soil just well enough for one to grow. Good luck with getting one for your garden!

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  4. I think the crabapples are so pretty - I planted my first one last year - it actually made it through the drought and the gophers attempting to eat the roots...It is very young, but has blooms on it. I have 4 different shrubs blooming - ?blooming pear - red; forsythia, yellow; a pink shrub, and a white bridal bush - the names may be all wrong...but question for you - do you know another shrub that you would suggest planting to bloom in the spring? Maybe a different color. I just love all the blooming shrubs and trees right now.
    Thanks!
    Blessings,
    Ava

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    1. Great going on getting it through the drought! Last year was a hard year. Other shrubs that bloom now may be: quince, Lady Banks rose (IF you have the room for her!), japonica camellias, loropetalum. I think azaleas are beginning to bloom now, too. Good luck with finding the perfect plant for your spring garden!

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  5. Now you made me want to get P. Allen Smith's book. I have never really followed him or watched his shows, but a garden with many crabapples has perked my interest. I had a large Sargent out front, now I have a tiny one (Royal Gem) that only grows five feet by eight feet.

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    1. The picture on page 69 of his book is beautiful. Four white blooming crabapples underplanted with red tulips surrounding a circle lawn. Your Royal Gem sounds wonderful - it could go in so many places!

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  6. This plant have beautiful flowers! You can enjoy the flowers even though the fruits are small! What a beautiful fruiting tree!

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    1. Yes, the fruit are so small, even the birds don't seem to eat them. It's the flowers that really put on the show. Only lasts briefly, but so lovely while it lasts!

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  7. Those are beautiful, I always enjoyed them when we lived in colder climates. Not a chance they would survive here so I'll have to enjoy them in your photos.

    They have developed some flowering redbuds for our climate and I'm going to find a place for one soon.

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    1. Maybe one day you'll be able to have one. I love redbuds, and even though I don't have one in my garden, they always make me smile when I do see one.

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  8. I love the blossoms and this shade of colour. They are so beautiful!

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    1. It's really a nice color for spring. The good part about these types of trees is that there is a color for just about any garden.

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  9. Inspiration is such a fantastic word that I often utter when looking for ideas we can apply to our garden. And such a positive, encouraging word too! Great blooms btw!

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    1. Yes, we can get inspired by so much. I love finding something inspiring that I want to put in my garden - in some way or fashion.

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  10. Such beautiful blooms to see today on this cold nasty day. I love Crabapples. One of my very favorite trees. Yours look wonderful.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. They are one of my favorite trees, too. Maybe I should find a place for more!

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  11. I love that little bumble bee on the blossom

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    1. :) I wondered if anyone would notice that!

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  12. Your deep pink flowered crabapples are beautiful, I have 3 Red Sentinel, with paler flowers and I've planted them because of a book I've read too.
    I really can't explain to myself how further with the season you are though...
    I planned to buy some more crabapples this year, and this time I'll take the inspiration from you and will look for this Profusion cultivar!
    Alberto

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    1. How interesting that you were inspired by a book to plant crabapples, too! I think crabapple cultivars go in and out of popularity. I hope you find just the right crabapple for your garden!

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  13. I have crabapples in the garden too (white and pink), and they add such wonderful color in Spring. Mine are still asleep though. : )

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    1. Every year these surprise me. It's like they open all their blooms overnight! Spring is definitely here!

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  14. I'm headed to the Philadelphia Flower Show this morning for lots of inspiration (and some purchases). I'll post photos later.

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    1. Oh, I can't wait - I hope you find something very inspiring!

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  15. I bought two of these a few months ago and have yet to plant them (still in teir nrsery bags). I love them. They seem so happy on my terrace I might just keep them in pots.

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    1. Two in big pots sounds beautiful! Mine are pretty big trees - I don't think they'd be happy in pots for long. Donna's small one, above, would work, though! You will be so thrilled next spring when yours flower!

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  16. Absolutely gorgeous! Love that color. You are so lucky to have space for three - a little crabapple hideaway!

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    1. :) I love how you put that - a little crabapple hideaway! I'll remember that when I sit there in the garden.

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  17. I'll have to check out P. Allen's intertwining branches. Yours look good already. I think the idea of dwarf gardenias under the crabapples is splendid!

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    1. Yes, it was nice - I often wonder why I change things when they're working!

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  18. Beautiful spring blossom. We're about a month away from blossom time here in the UK. But then again, we're having unusual weather at the moment, so maybe our blossom will be early this year.

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    1. I'm not sure anyone know when things are going to start blooming this year, it's been so unusual!

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  19. What a beautiful sight! Those blossoms are terrific.

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    1. The trees are really beautiful covered in these blooms.

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  20. Ah, there is little that can compete with a crabapple tree in full bloom. :)

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  21. I am planting one this year in the meadow. I look forward to seeing this beauty in a few years!!

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    1. Oh, I can imagine one in full bloom in a meadow. It will be gorgeous!

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  22. I LOVE crabapples!! I ended up in a big argument with a local nursery that tried to convince me the tree they delivered wasn't dead but dormant. It was dead! I ended up putting a dogwood from a different nursery in the spot, instead. I added crabapples to my garden in New York and loved how beautiful they were all year long. I wish I still had them in my garden. Yours are lovely. :o)

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    1. Interesting about the nursery. Makes you wonder if they sold it to someone that didn't know, or if they realized it was really dead! These trees do have a nice shape. Good luck with your dogwood. They are nice, too.

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  23. What's the meaning of "they are in sucker?" Thanks.

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    1. A sprout will grow up from a bit of the root, and start growing as a separate branch of the tree. This is not desirable, and is very frustrating to me!

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  24. You hit the nail on the head with your thoughts on where inspiration comes from. I find exactly the same thing, it could be a photo, a post, a magazine. Inspiration strikes anywhere and everywhere and always gets me excited to get out in the garden.

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    1. Images seem to inspire me than most things, although just a good description of something can get me thinking!

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  25. They are lovely. I think they are some of the best ornamental trees, thank you for the pictures.

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    1. I love them, too. Even my husband looks forward to them blooming!

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  26. How lovely to have these trees in full bloom. Marvelous!!

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    1. They are a beautiful sight, for a short while.

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  27. Crab-apple trees are just fabulous! The blooms are just incredible and come early in the year (come on Spring!)

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    1. They do seem to be blooming quite early, but I think groundhog Phil was wrong this year, at least for down here. It's warm, and no cold seems to be in the future forecasts.

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  28. I love crabapple trees! So pretty! My grandmother has a large one on her property, and every summer she makes delicious crabapple jelly. There are an amazing number of different types of crabapple trees - I looked into possibly getting one and researched a lot of the different forms, colors of flower, colors of berries, etc. In the end I decided against putting one in the location that I had in mind, but they are definitely fabulous!

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    1. You are right - there are so many different ones, it's sometimes hard to narrow it down. If I had to choose again, I would definitely look not only for disease resistance, I think I'd like some that made crabapples big enough to make jelly!

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