White Tree Wisteria picture-Oleander in container

This week, on my visit to the garden center I was surprised to see several, large size trees and bushes, planted in huge containers.
One of them is this white tree wisteria, wisteria sinensis alba or Chinese Wisteria.
Now, in mid-May these trees are in full bloom here, putting on quite a show with their spectacular cascade of white flower clusters gracefully floating on the breeze.

That was more than a breeze but I just had to take these pictures. As you see in the background, black clouds were gathering rapidly on the evening sky.
White wisteria tree picture-wisteria sinensis alba picture
Most Wisterias I saw are vines, though some are shaped to grow upright, resembling a tree. This variety apparently grows as a tree without much training or shaping. Its pea-like flowers and seedpods are similar to those of the Laburnum tree which has yellow flowers. Both species are poisonous, especially the seeds, when ingested.
White wisteria flower clusters-close-up photo
Wisterias are quite rapidly growing, long lived vines blooming for generations. This here is a young tree, about 4 m tall and already has a substantial trunk that will increase in size each year. Like all wisterias, these tree varieties will also climb on anything within reach, growing 20-30 m long, if permitted.

As lovely and fragrant the blossoms are, think twice before you buy one. Wisterias can become rather invasive, strangling trees they climb on and producing substantial damages on building walls, roofs and fences.
You have to choose very carefully where do you plant it as it is difficult to get rid of it, if you change your mind.

Still, wisteria trees can be very showy accent trees, adding much beauty to a yard, garden or any landscape, placed wisely, in the right spot.

Another attraction was this, about 6 m tall Oleander tree (Nerium oleander). My grandmother used to grow an oleander indoors, but it never reaches more than 2 m. I didn't know back than that Oleanders are poisonous as well.
This one looks like a lovely, small, pink flowering shrub at the end of a long stick.
Oleander tree picture-pink
As it was for the first time I saw such large specimens to be sold, the same question popped up in my mind, over and over again: how do you take them home, a crane is needed to move them?
I'm quite sure shipping is included in their also "impressive" price.

I was wondering if I should stay any longer and try to capture one of these fascinating, bright lightnings crossing the sky. I'm not fast enough for that anyway and it seamed a big storm was coming so I headed home, on the double. Too late though, I had to look for a shelter on my way home, until the storm lost some of its intensity.

Quince tree flower-Cydonia oblonga pictures

This old quince tree was in full flower a week ago when I took the photos. This is the orchard Quince-Cydonia oblonga, not to be confused with the flowering quince bush.
The homeland of the quince is the mountainous region called the Caucasus lying between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
Quince trees are very hardy,deciduous and live for about 30 years. They characteristically grow into twisted and contorted shapes, with entwining branches.
Quince blossom-Cydonia oblonga flower macro
As part of the rose family (Rosaceae) and related to apples and pears, the quince has similar but larger flowers of a white-pinkish color, produced in late spring or early summer in this case, after the leaves.
From the distance I was wondering what kind of tree is flowering so late but than I saw its hairy leaves.
Quince tree branch with flowers-quince blossoms
The Quince fruits are covered with the same dense, grey-white hairs as the leaves which rubs off before maturity in late autumn.
The pear-like fruits have a hard, astringent flash which is too sour to eat raw but develop sweetness if allowed to fully ripen on the tree. It is one of the most aromatic fruit in the world with a unique, intense perfume-like fragrance.
Quince tree flowering-Cydonia oblonga
The fruit is very appreciated for making jam, jelly, compote, quince cheese and the famous French treat, the Cotignac, a clear gel made from boiled quince juice and sugar.
It is also popular in countries having a fatty cuisine, like Germany, Hungary and South Africa, its high acidity counteracting the greasiness of the foods.

In most parts of central and southern Europe and warm-temperate southwest Asia where the summers are sufficiently hot for the fruit to fully ripen, quince is also used to make tasty drinks;
a sweet dessert wine high in alcohol, quince brandy and quince juice

Appealing as an ornamental, the quince tree can be planted in a lawn setting with a single tree, offering attractive foliage, spring flowers, autumn colors and fragrant fruits.

Today's Flowers

Yellow shrub rose-Canary Bird -Rosa xanthina-photos

This showy yellow shrub rose is a Canary Bird Rose-Rosa xanthina, the earliest flowering rose in our parts.
In late spring, early summer, the entire shrub is covered with a mass of delicate, scented, bright yellow flowers.
Canary Bird-yellow rose macro
Under the spectacular clusters of flowers, a distinctive, fern-like foliage is visible, on its arching, thorny stems.
Flowering Rosa xanthina-Canary Bird flowers
Canary Bird Rose-cluster of yellow flowersBecause of its size, this shrub rose is not easy to find in small gardens.
As Canary Bird Rose shrubs don't like pruning, they can grow to a height of 2.5-3 m with a slightly larger spread.
Canary Bird shrub rose-Rosa xanthinaI took these photos at our Botanical garden (in Cluj-Napoca) where it has plenty of room to spread its graceful branches.

See also:
Other yellow shrubs and bushes:
- Forsythia bushes
- St. John's Wort - Hypericum perforatum

Tree peonies -Paeonia suffruticosa-pink peony flower pictures

Tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa) are the first to bloom in early May. While herbaceous peonies are just budding at this time, these large flowers are already loosing their petals.
Tree peonies or Rock's peonies are deciduous shrub, having spectacular large, often fragrant flowers growing up to 17cm across.
Pink peony-tree peony flower close-up
The simple or double petals, surrounding bright yellow stamens come in shades of red, pink, yellow, and white and other striking colors.
Pink tree peony flowers-close-up
Tree peony is long lived and may reach a height and spread of 2-2.5 m (6-8 feet) and often may delight several generations with its beautiful flowers. Some species can live up to 100 years but they don't like to be moved, so choose wisely the place you want to plant them.
Flowering tree peony
Like all peonies, tree peonies need full sun or partial shade and fertile, well drained soil. No special care is needed.
Tree peony pink-Paeonia suffruticosa
In autumn, tree peonies lose their leaves but the woody stems stay throughout the year.
Fall pruning is not necessary, they don't even like it, though old branches can be cut once in a while to maintain shape and size but not more often than in 3 years.

See the bright golden stamens of a beautiful, magenta peony flower in macro.


Red Flowering Quince-Japanese Chaenomeles pictures

This bright orange-red, saucer-shaped blossoms is a Flowering Quince flower - Chaenomeles.
Flowering quince or Japanese quince is a thorny deciduous shrub from eastern Asia grown and appreciated in parts of Europe and North America for their striking red, white and pink flower on the bare branches in early spring.

Though related to our orchard Quince (Cydonia), these ornamental shrubs are grown only for their aesthetic value in gardens and landscaping, not for their fruits.
Some cultivars grow up to 2 m tall, but others are much smaller.
The two best known cultivated species are Chaenomeles Japonica and Chaenomeles Speciosa, both often mentioned as Japanese quince.
Red flowering quince-macro photo-Chaenomeles speciosa
Chaenomeles Japonica is a dwarf or medium sized shrub, growing to only about 1 m in height and bearing bright red flowers (photo 2 & 3).
Chaenomeles speciosa is taller than Chaenomeles Japonica, usually growing to about 2 m and is known for its bright orange-red (first photo), pink or pure white spring flowers.

There are many hybrids of flowering quince offering different colored flowers; shades of scarlet, crimson, rose and mixed colors.
Japanese quince-Chaenomeles Japonica-macro photo
The fruits are edible but with an astringent taste, they are suitable for preserves and jellies, though.

Japanese quince shrubs perform best in sunny positions or part shade, they are drought-tolerant and most important, they tolerate urban environment pollution as well.
These compact, thorny shrubs are decorative as they are, standing alone in the open, as you can see in the following picture.
They are also suitable for growing along walls and in borders in which case they should be pruned back right after flowering.
Chaenomeles Japonica - Flowering Quince and blossoming trees in the landscape
Though Japanese quince has a short flowering period, you can benefit of these brightly colored flowers also in late winter by cutting some branches and placing them in a vase, indoor.
The flowers will open soon bringing a splash of vibrant color.

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