Monday, March 28, 2016
First Arbutus Flower 2016
Our carefully watched arbutus opened its first flower today. In many ways that appearance marks the successful beginning of yet another gardening year. One of our goals is to record the length of the bloom season. If the purpose of the delightful scent is to draw in pollinators, it would not be needed yet. The business parts of the flower have a great deal of maturing to do ahead of the arrival of the insects. My nose will simply have to wait to collect that first delicious aroma.
Our point and shoot camera has difficulty finding a point of focus. There is considerable depth to each open flower. Some parts are always out of focus. Abundant protruding hairs line the cylinder above the base of the flower adding to the complexity of the problem. Many totally blurry pictures were taken in order to get two decent images. A Joby gorillapod helped steady the camera. After taking all of those pictures, choosing between the two was difficult for me. I solved the problem by including both of them.
New green growth was apparent in the area where arbutus seeds were scattered two years ago. Leaf shape approaches those of the desired plant but the stems are all wrong. Hairless leaves and stems clearly point away from arbutus plants. These intruders might be plantain but they will be weeded out soon. Still, they caused my heart to leap. Complete success transplanting arbutus from the wild cannot be declared until daughter plants from seed appear on their own. In the meantime "Mayflower" flowers in March is a exhilarating experience!