Since late February our fruit trees have given enormous pleasure as they have each, in turn, flowered.
It always starts with the dark plum. Originally spindly and weak – and still a little frail – the tree is the first to break into a joyous show of delicate blooms:
Just as the plum bursts into flower, perfect buds form on the neighbouring orange (at least we think that is what the tree is – in spite of the annual display of flowers, we have never had a fruit to pick).
In the warm spring sunshine, the buds soon open to reveal glorious, waxy flowers with a heady, sweet perfume that has no equal in the fruit tree realm!
Meanwhile, our star “lemange” tree – rootstock lemon and scion sweet orange – has surpassed herself this season. Since I pruned her in January, the tree has taken on a new lease of life and has poured her energy into a wonderful display of flowers, mostly of lemon but with a few of orange thrown in for good measure. There is no doubt which is the more vigorous stock here – seen from above it’s all about lemon:
As the tree is situated just below the area of roof where the beehives are kept, the bees often come straight down for a taster before making their way over to the strong stuff in the raised beds: maybe the rocket and mustard are more palatable that way?
It has also been particularly encouraging to see the straggly lime tree produce a decent show of blossom, for once.
Like the dark plum, it is very close to the back hedge of Indian laurels and, until the laurels were drastically cut back last summer, it suffered for the position. Winter pruning of the lime was sparing – simply reducing the interior crossing branches in an attempt to give the tree a better shape – and, even if it lacks the natural elegance of the lemange tree, at least we can now hope it will produce some fruit.
By mid-March, the dark plum was coming to the end of its season, but the second plum was ready to start an astonishing display. As it is positioned in the lawn, behind the house, the masses of blossom created quite an impression:
At the same time, to one side, there has been a real beauty: if the flowers of the pear tree are pretty but rather slight, the leaves are totally gorgeous: tender, soft – and pink!
(Excuse the late addition of the last photograph: it sometimes takes forever to load photos using WordPress, I don’t know why. I reduce the size of the files considerably each time, but that doesn’t always help. The internet connection is sometimes frustratingly slow in Egypt.)