I've always loved having fruiting trees (and bushes) in the garden. Probably because as a small child I spent so much time down at Bretney running around the orchard pinching gooseberries, apples, pears and plums as they came to just that first point of ripeness.
As an adult, I still have that love of eating a fruit straight from the plant and, in our fairly small garden, have too many trees for comfort. it makes the grass cutting into quite an exercise in ducking, dodging and weaving around trunks and branches.
This year, the weather seems to have been very kind to the blossom on the trees that have flowered so far. Often the earliest - the cherry plums in particular - seem to come into flower and then get battered by a late frost or an easterly gale. This year that doesn't seem to be the case. The weather has been fairly gentle for the most part and the blossom on all the trees so far has been prolific.
Add to this the fact that, for the first time ever, I have both pear trees actually flowering and it should be a summer to look forward to. Pears always seem to be a bit of a let-down for me. I got both trees within a year of each other, different varieties that should complement and pollinate together in the hopes of actually getting a crop. One - the Conference I think - has managed to flower just about every year since it was planted. The other (I'm sure its a William) has resolutely held itself aloof, never offering even a hint of a bud in more than 10 years, until now. Well, they do say "Apples for your children, pears for your grand-children". I don't have either but I get the point now!
So far, the Cherry Plums, Plums, Pears and Cherries have all flowered magnificently. Just the apples remain still in tight buds. Hopefully a good crop of all lies ahead - even if the blackbirds and starlings always get all the cherries.
The macro facilities of the Canon SX730 make taking pictures of the delicate flowers a real pleasure and it seems to do a really good job of capturing the subtle colours of these fascinating little blossoms. Why do so many gardens have a flowering cherry, when you can have a fruiting one instead?