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

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. That is great Pam!! Your Mom is gonna love that tree.
    Plus it is going to be so beautiful in the spring.

  2. I wonder, if that is the same as my - simply Prunus nigra - currently bowing down under the weight of lots of tiny plums. For me it works thru all four seasons - bare in winter when that corner appreciates the sun, sparkling blossom, edible fruit, and burgundy shade thru high summer.

  3. Diana - While many of the plants in your South African garden seem exotic and foreign to me, I am amazed how many we have in common. P. x

  4. What a thoughtful and meaningful gesture. I am sure residents and staff alike will love the cherry.

  5. What a lovely, thoughtful gift Pam. It would be very special if you could also plant a cherry in Pennsylvania so you can see your Mum's tree when you look out of the window. The garden centre you mentioned is less than an hour away from where I live so I'm going to visit as soon as I have time.

  6. PJ -- How exciting! Let's meet there for lunch next time I visit Mum. Their restaurant is wonderful. P. x

  7. This was such a nice thing you did. Trees are always nice in places such as this. Our firm has installed many at our local facility at the families request. Some are memorials and others a tribute to the residents that they may enjoy each day.

  8. Dear Pam,
    I understand completely--a tree full of love and longing and appreciation. Well done, on all counts. xo L

  9. That is the perfect tribute for your mother! And it's beauty will be shared for years to come. It reminds of the joke that says the suburbs are where they name the streets after all the trees they tear down to build those streets!

  10. What a thoughtful gift, and so appropriate for it to be a cherry tree with the name of the building being Cherry Tree Court. I'm sure it will be appreciated in all seasons by the residents and staff alike. Thank you for your comment on my blog, and for your positive thoughts for Archie. We're desperately waiting for news.

  11. Robin -- I had to chuckle at your comment ... there are many streets in the towns around here named for trees, and we know why. Cherry Tree Court, however, was named by local schoolchildren. I think there was some sort of contest. P. x

  12. I'm glad to hear your mother feels happy where she is. Must be a huge relief for you! What a lovely way to honor your mother, and the tree will be something for everyone to enjoy. Have a great weekend!

  13. Pam, your posts about your mother always make me misty. My mother is 92 and though right next door to me, she is always on my mind. I'm glad your mother is in a nice, secure home where she is happy, what a blessing! The worry can just drive a daughter to distraction; what if she fell, etc.

    The cherry tree is a wonderful gift. So many places name themselves after non-existent trees and I always found that to be sad. You went out and did something about it! So many people will enjoy your contribution.

    So good to visit, Pam. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. A perfect gift for your Mom and Cherry Tree Court. And I also loved the idea of you having the same tree to look at along with your Mom. We are Anglophiles who haven't been to England since 2002 and miss it so much.

  15. What a wonderful gesture you made to that centre. I'm sure they were delighted to have the tree donated and now every time your mom sees it she'll think of you. A perfect gift.

  16. That is such a thoughtful gift and what a great way for you to connect with her and her caregivers. Beautiful!

  17. I think you chose the right tree, it's beautiful in all seasons. Your mum will be able to look at it and think of you. It's a nice idea to have a matching one in your own garden!

  18. Ah Pam, similarities, my 92yr old mum has just moved into what is called very sheltered housing. I wish I could say she is enjoying it however she is now getting so confused she doesn't know what she likes. The Cherry Tree was such a kind and appropriate gift. Now let me think, mother is now living in Broomhill Park, I could get a colourful Cytisus however, doesn't have the same feel to it.

  19. Such a wonderful story and a thoughtful and loving gift. Your mom will think of you each time she sees the beautiful sweet.

  20. Planting that cherry tree was an a great idea. My parents are both 92 and still living at home close by, but it is a challenge. Mom still like to putts around the garden a bit.