Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dwarf Cherry 'Hiromi' Really Delivers

This little shrub, Prunus jacquemontii 'Hiromi,' is perhaps my favorite plant in the garden.  In late February, it is covered with double-pink blossoms, all along its upright branches.  It's been such a reliable spring bloomer, but was exceptional this year, when we certainly got all the chill hours we needed!  I have it planted in a spot that gets morning sun, and it has grown slowly but steadily for the past three or four years since I planted it.  I love the spring flowers -- as close as we're likely to get to the famous cherry blossoms of festival-fame. 

But I also love what comes later -- the tiny cherries.  They are edible, if a bit tart.  Because they are so tiny, the stone is relatively large.  But it's not a problem for the mockingbirds!  As soon as the cherries begin to ripen, we watch and wait for the mockingbirds to figure it out.  When they decide the cherries are ready, they feast on them, sometimes two and three birds in the same tree.  You can see how the branches that were upright are now weeping over with the weight of the cherries. 

I can't decide which is better, the lovely pink flowers or the mockingbird circus that follows!

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