I’m really having a fun time playing in my yard this year. It’s taken a lot of love and waiting, but this year seems to be really rewarding.
I’m so glad Little JCrew loves to be outside. Mr. Briggleworth does too, but he’s attached to my hip, while I’m barefoot in the yard (Alabama has rubbed off on me!) That’s another story for another day. Moving on to my favorite part of the yard… the trees that bloom in Spring!
I have two types of trees that bloom in April/May. The Chinese Fringetree is so pretty!
There is an American Fringetree out there, but I chose the Chinese variety because I thought it was slightly prettier. The Chinese variation has tinier flower clusters, but the petals are prettier. The Chinese variety also blooms after the leaves have emerged, while the American version blooms as the leaves come.
They say to plant them in pairs (female and male) to get the most out of them. Female fringetrees bear attractive fruit if male plants are nearby. The fruit are blue-black, 1/2 to 2/3 inch long and shaped like olives, to which fringetrees are related.
I have two female and one male. The male tree has really taken off. I bought the three of them for a discount. One was marked with a really cheap price and all the others weren’t marked at all; except one, and it’s price was higher! When I asked the nursery attendant about them, he gave them to me for the mis-marked price! Partly because it was their fault it was mis-marked, but also because they would take work! I actually think they weren’t ready to sell them. They were young trees that needed to be guided on how to become a tree.
I had to tie them to stakes to encourage them to grow straight and up. The females don’t grow very wide, but the male grows out very well. The last three years, there’s been a lot of sculpting going on. I have cut off the lower branches and shorten the wide branches. They are a very slow grower (6-10 inches a year). It feels like they haven’t grown at all, until I look at pictures.
These trees get their leaves first and then sprout out fringe-like white flowers.
They are just beautiful. The flowers last for about two weeks.
The other flowering tree I have is my favorite. It is an Ivory Silk Lilac.
It’s one that I asked my local nursery to find for me. I asked for two, and he found me two, but I only bought one. I had changed where I was going to put them and only needed one.
This tree is the first to sprout leaves in the yard. It’s how I know Spring is coming.
Just like the Fringetree, it gets it’s leaves first and then the flowers come. The buds start coming in May, and at the end of May through June, the ivory colored flowers open up.
They are in clusters on the tree.
In person, this tree is amazing!
I love the bark.
I love the leaf color.
I love the shape. I just love it all. Best part is that I don’t have to shape it! It knows how to be a tree, and does it very well!
I remember the day it came home with us.
And now look at it!
When you stand 6-foot tall Mr. JCrew next to it, you realize how big it is.
I will say Lilacs are not a Southern thing. I looked up Lilacs, and Ivory Silk was the only variety that would do well in our area. We’re on the border of Tennessee and this is as far South as they go. I’m sure glad I don’t live any further.
I do have other flowering trees in the yard, such as my crepe myrtles, but everyone knows about them. They're very common.
I'm glad they flower in the summer. That way there's always something blooming.
I can't enjoy my trees enough. They're awesome, awesome trees!