Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cherry Tree

Cherry tree Prunus pissardii nigra
I started writing this in a New York airport, while waiting for the shuttle to Pennsylvania, following a wonderful visit with my mother in England. My 93-year-old mum now lives in a sheltered-accommodation facility, or assisted-living as we say in USA. I moved Mum from her home last year when it became apparent that she could not live alone any more. It was a traumatic move for both of us, so I was happy to see that she has now settled, loves her new flat, and the wonderful staff who care for her. So what does this have to do with a cherry tree? Well, Mum's facility is called Cherry Tree Court, a beautiful new building with lovely landscaping, but not one cherry tree. My visit coincided with the first anniversary of Cherry Tree Court's opening, and I thought that donating a cherry tree would be an appropriate way to honor my mother, and show my appreciation of the loving care she is receiving from the Cherry Tree Court staff.

I emailed a local nursery, Hollybush Garden Center, to find out which cherry trees they had in stock. The operations manager sent me a comprehensive list that I used to research the varieties available. I also perused their website, and you can click on the name above to go there. Their home page says 'the Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquaria is the ideal location for a complete day out'. I couldn't wait to visit ...

I believe it would take me a whole day to explore this fabulous garden center, but I didn't have a lot of time, so I headed for the outdoor section where they have trees and shrubs for sale.

A very helpful manager showed me the stock, and I quickly decided on the Black cherry plum Nigra. Nigra is a medium-sized, round-headed deciduous tree with foliage that is black and dark purple in summer and dark red in spring.

I fell in love with the fall leaf color.

 In spring the tree has pale pink flowers and in autumn it bears dark red fruit.

 The single, pale pink flowers open from deep pink buds before the leaves.

Photograph -- Royal Horticultural Society
I ordered some soil ammendments  and fertilizer to be applied at planting. And I bought a strong stake for support, as England seems to have some strong winds lately.  Having made my purchases, I explored some of the other areas of the garden center.

The Christmas decorations were on display.

There was a wonderful selection of seeds.

I wanted to take this fellow home with me
I wish I had spent more time at Hollybush; they have so much for obsessive gardeners like me to enjoy. I arranged for their landscapers to plant the cherry tree, and the manager of Cherry Tree Court said she will send me a picture. I hope it wont be too long before I can return to see it for myself.

Now I am thinking I should have a cherry tree in my Pennsylvania garden. I have chosen a plant each month for the meme "A Dozen For Diana", and this is my pick for October. Do visit Elephant's Eye to see what Diana chose for her wonderful garden in South Africa.

It becomes harder and harder each time I say goodbye to my mother, and I miss her already, but I know while I am so far away, she is safe and happy, in her new home. Thank you, thank you, Cherry-Tree-Court staff. I hope you and the residents enjoy the cherry tree!

Pam x

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