I had seen the colors often in earlier springs...driving along, every now and then, a brilliant pop of purple would catch my attention. What is that tree, I would find myself thinking?
I have drooled over the Eastern Redbud for years. Every spring, it makes itself known by brilliant purple buds, highlighted by reddish heart-shaped leaves, left over from the preceding fall and winter.
Below, it is nothing but a bare stick-like twig. On the lower right (below) is my smallest Redbud. I planted it in March (before the snow made the landscape white). I got it at a native plant nursery, and was happy that it was reasonably priced and that I could 'handle' digging a hole for this smaller size seedling.
This little twig-like seedling gave a couple of blooms this spring...not much to look at, really--but, I'm just happy it had any blooms at all. Pinkish purple is such a cheery color:
Anyway...back to my dreaming. I wanted more of a 'splash of color'. I wanted to wake up and see it in my own yard...not just on a walk or a drive.
So, I added a 'just a little larger one', after the small seedling. Nothing so big I couldn't dig a hole for it. It wasn't blooming and it still wasn't 'much', but it was a Redbud, so I was happy. Here's the 2nd of my Redbuds in bloom, recently:
And again, below:
Anyway, despite seeing the lovely purple blooms of my two small redbuds, I couldn't help myself last week and I just decided to 'bite the bullet', so to speak, at a local privately owned nursery. I had been 'spying on' their larger Redbuds and plotting where I would put one in my front yard--for at least two months.
I had just the spot. I ordered the tree, paid, and was told it could be up to two weeks before they could deliver and plant it. But before I got home that afternoon, the guys were in my front yard digging a hole in the area I had marked!
It might look small in the photo, but when you compare it to the seedlings I planted in the backyard, you can understand why it had to be put on a truck and delivered...and planted, by some strong burly guys ;)
Remember the seedling in the backyard (below)?
This newest addition is quite a few years older and there really is no comparison when it comes to bud development. I needed to see the color and I needed to see a lot of it! And I got what I was looking for :)
I love how it hangs on to its leaves from the previous season...so beautiful!
The new, spring heart-shaped leaves are almost just as lovely, in their green attire:
So now, my front yard has a little highlight, from this newest tree. Even though it isn't huge, it's got something interesting to offer. I am sure each spring it will be more and more exciting to wait for the pops of purple it will offer up! Doesn't it look lovely against the back-drop of my neighbors Dogwood tree?
Apparently, the flowers of the tree can be put into salads or fried and eaten! I have been way too busy enjoying them to bother with harvesting and eating them. But perhaps when all three trees are blooming, I'll become more willing to experiment!
As for the wildlife value of native Redbud, I read that cardinals, ring-necked pheasants, bob-whites and rose-breasted grosbeaks enjoy feeding on the seeds. (White-tailed deer and gray squirrels have also been observed feeding on the seeds--I have plenty of both and that's no surprise. What DON'T they eat?!?!). Also, the Redbud flowers can help and contribute to the production of honey by bees. Overall, I love this tree.
I've joined Gail at Clay and Limestone for "Wildflower Wednesday", along with other bloggers who are sharing natives and wildflowers that they love. Be sure to visit!
What gifts have you discovered today? Until next time,
Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.