13 March 2014

Fleurs rouges du printemps

This bush full of red flowers puts on a display every year in early spring across the street on our neighbors' property. I have never known what it was, exactly, but after some Internet searching I think it might be a flowering quince.

The mild but wet winter we've had this year, and now this early spring, have brought out flowers like I haven't seen before. Two camelia bushes on the east side of our house — bushes we are considering digging out because they've never flowered very profusely — are making us re-think our plan. Maybe we can move them to a better spot.

And finally, Josette's primrose garden is spectacular right now too. She's the woman who sold us this house we've lived in since 2003. Her husband had died a few years earlier, and she wanted to move to Tours to be closer to her daughter and grand-daughter.

Josette is in her late 80s at this point, and she moved to Tours  nearly 10 years ago, so she doesn't get to see this springtime bloom any more. Maybe she'll see this blog post. I know her daughter sometimes checks in here.


  1. Couldn't you just ask your neighbor?

  2. Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I've been on Blogger!

  3. It is Chaenomelese japonica...
    the Japanese Flowering Quince...
    and the fruit is edible and can be used as per Quangz!!
    You've just reminded me that I have one to plant here...
    it is peachy coloured and just about to flower.

    As this area is mainly alkaline soil, Ken...
    it is most likely that the Camellia wants more acid to keep it healthy...
    mulch it up with some "terre dit bruyere" and feed it, from time to time, with plant food for Azaleas.

  4. Starman, the neighbors are seldom here when that bush has flowers on it. They spend summers here but since the thing isn't in flower then I never think of asking about it.

    Thanks for the confirmation, Tim. And yes, I know about camelias and their soil preferences. I think these are too cold and in very dark shade.

  5. Also here just called japonica and thanks to Tim, I now know why.

  6. Oh, wow wow wow :) Usually, when you start showing blooms, we're getting them, too... but, not this year. So, thanks again!

    I know less than you, surely, about camelias, but will say that ours at the Missouri Botanical Garden are always displayed in the warm greenhouse-- I don't think that they even have them planted outside. I'll be interested to follow yours if you move it, to see if you get more regular blooming for it. What a beauty :)

  7. Andrew, there seem to be many different shrubs that are known as japonicas.

    Judy, I know somebody in Pensacola who grows and cares for a lot of camelias. That's one reason why I suspect they need warmer temperatures. Then again, we had a beautiful one in our back garden in San Francisco, where it never got very hot. It's time to experiment with them.

  8. I wonder if Josette knows that LOTS of people are enjoying her primroses this year. I hope she gets to see them, too.

    The camillas in my yard have bloomed forever this year- they don't seem to mind the cold we've had. Our soil is quite acidic though unlike yours.

  9. we had lots of camelias when I was growing up in NO but not so many by the time u get up to NC or VA

  10. So it seems to be 'camellia' with two Ls, not one. Wonder why we pronounce it the way we do...

  11. Lovely photos Ken! Oh keep the camellias please; you do have a beauty there.

    The primroses are wonderful, with a wonderful story about how they ended up where they are.

    Happy Spring to you and Walt !

  12. Hi C in Calif,

    I just read a web site saying that 'the only way' to grow camellias successfully in areas with alkaline soil and water, like ours, is to grow them in planters with the right soil and water them exclusively with rainwater. I don't know...

  13. My Dad had a wonderful camellia "Sensation" in his garden in Birmingham, England. It had no special treatment and he cut it back with shears every so often. I think different varieties may be more tender and more fussy than others. Yours is a beauty - don't dig it out! The wet last year seems to have suited all sorts of things. P.

  14. Beautiful spring pictures, thank you.


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