Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the crabapples are blooming, the crabapples are blooming!

It's that magical time of year again. The crabapple allees in the Conservatory Garden are officially in bloom.
Malus floribunda is the botanical name for Japanese flowering crabapples.
As the stories goes, the 44 trees that make up the two parallel plantings that flank the central, Italian section of the Conservatory Garden were raised on a farm up in Newburgh, New York. Supposedly the trees were brought down the Hudson on a barge while in full flower either the spring of 1936 or 1937 on their way to be planted in the garden which opened to the public in September of 1937. What a sight that must have been, even if these trees were much smaller those decades ago. Half the trees, those adjacent to the lawn, set pink buds but have white flowers and the other half are a very strong pink from beginning to end.
The pink ones come out just a day or two before the white. They explode late April and if the temperature stays nice and steadily cool then the flowers can last for a few weeks. If it gets really hot they shed their flowers quickly. The tiny flower petals of pink and white rain down on you as you stroll through the serene tunnel of statuesque, mature trees. It is in fact a magical time if you can catch it.

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