Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cornelian cherries

These are ripe now, and they must be picked. They are not cherries, of course, but dogwoods: Cornus mas.  Natives of the region around the Black Sea. Tough as nails, and one of the earliest bloomers of the year, belonging to yellow March - a cloud of small flowers. That reminds me - perhaps I should check the trees on the western edge of Battery Park.This tree is one of three outside an apartment building a couple of blocks from home and one is especially heavy with fruit. It is beginning to drop on the sidewalk. The deep red, almost mahogany-dark fruit are the ripe ones, tasting of sour, soft plums. The crimson fruit are crisp and more sour, and probably higher in pectin, so fine for jelly.

This is fall fruit. Well, it was a fall fruit. I think we need a new season. On the terrace the fall anemones and fennel are in bloom. Things fall apart.

And I think it is time I bought a food mill. Seeds, pips, pits. Life is becoming too short to strain.


  1. Marie, what do you think of replacing my (gone) crab apple with one? For space, i would need a single trunk, but i like the early bloom and fruit for jam. Zone 7b, full sun, acid soil.... Should i see if a nursery can get me one?

  2. webb, they are lovely but more demure than crabapples, which have such wonderful, obvious, 'blossom-blossom'. The yellow haze in the spring is very early, so nice because little else is flowering (after witch hazels, before forsythia). And then the fruit. My feeling is that they like to be cold in winter. My American Hort Society Encyclopedia of Garden Plants says Zones 5-8, and I think things have warmed up since 1997 :)?

  3. Your terrace is amazing. What types of containers do you plant your perennials in?

  4. Thanks for the thoughts. Am struggling with what - if anything - to use in the empty spot. Perhaps more perennials, or a tree peony, or, or, or. Our increasingly hot and dry summers have me worried. Am going to have to add irrigation soon. Love the idea of jam, tho ...

    At least i have time. This is not the time to be planting!

  5. Here we are running about 3 weeks ahead or so. Apples are becoming ripe, etc. So we're not as weird as you guys, but still ahead. Our last frost ended up being end of February instead of into March.

    By the way, I wanted to thank you for telling me about the lily placement. I planted mine, and they are doing well. I added tuberoses and gloriosa lilies this year too. My tuberoses haven't put up any spikes though. I am hopeful. My hydrangea died a sad death, but I am going to replace with with a ginger-- Hedychium coronarium. The young flowers can be used in cooking like tuberose flowers. I've made many a floral jam/floral mix jam, and so I look forward to using these. Peonies and other strong fragrances are amazing in a jam where when you open the jar, you are confronted with a bouquet. These could be good. I didn't see if your tuberoses are doing anything (or if you ended up getting them for sure)?

    I'm thinking to squeeze in more herbs. So many choices for so small a square footage and limited sun (I face north). My passiflora experiment has worked though-- I currently have 4 fruits growing. The flowers were beautiful. it is about to rebloom as well.


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