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Garden journal entry


March 16, 2013. Our parrot tree has been living in a corner of our front yard for a good number of years now. It used to be the corner of death – several other small trees and shrubs preceded it, and all died. Not so the Parrotia, which has been quite robust, even though it grows slowly. Its primary ornamental attribute, as far as I'm concerned, is its fall color. But it does have flowers, too. I first saw evidence of them in the spring of 2011, when I found the brown spent flowers after the weather had turned warm. So I put a reminder on my calendar for March 2012 to look for flowers – which I did, but no luck: it did not flower last year. So this year is the first time I get to see the full development of buds and flowers. The red pompoms were already starting to show themselves in February, but didn't really emerge until we had a few warm days last weekend. By the time I got around to taking a picture today, the weather had turned again – to wet snow. At least the white offsets the dark red flowers nicely. It's been fun to witness them up close – but the flowers will never replace the brilliantly colored leaves as the primary ornamental feature. From a distance, they just look like dark protrusions from the bare stalks (which still hold last year's dried-up leaves, which doesn't help to pretty up the picture). But hey, at this time of year I'm happy for anything that's willing to announce it's aliveness – however demurely.

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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