4-1-16 SHORT HILLS: The return of the raptors is still pending, but I’m keeping an eagle eye out for them.
I continue pruning and trimming—a lot of forsythia with many dead canes in one spot needed to be harshly pruned. I think and hope they will respond. Forsythia are very resilient—you can run them over, and they bounce back. They might have been over-shadowed by spice bushes that I cut back. I have also been reclaiming some of the walkways from ground covers, mostly pachysandra, that have been swallowing them up. The string trimmer is a good tool for this job.
Some of the pruning that I have done has been to give growing space to the more desirable shrubs and small trees. I like the burning bushes, Siebold viburnums, spice bushes, but have pruned back and cut some of them down to provide more light and space to rarer viburnums, hollies, rhododendrons and a Japanese maple.
Today was almost eighty with afternoon T-storms, but the weekend temps are predicted to be below freezing again which will be disastrous for the flowers.
New blooms: marsh marigold, claytonia, pussy willow, quince.
Claytonia stands two inches high, its leaves look like grass and the flower is the size of a dime. In a few weeks it will disappear until next year.
Squill is another spring ephemeral.
Quince, usually red, is another early bloomer that resembles the fruit flowers.
Yoshino cherry actually produces fruit.
More Yoshino cherry blossoms.
Pulmonaria opens in pink and turns blue, possibly a signal to the pollinators?