Spring Garden Photos for 2018
by Jim Gerrish

04/27/18 Happy Arbor Day! Click HERE for my complete Arbor Day Tree Inventory

I've been showing off my newly planted apple trees below, so this Arbor Day I'll celebrate the coming of fruiting age of my front yard trees and Cherry Bush. They are all showing blossoms which will soon turn into fruits, with the cooperation of friendly bees and other pollinating insects. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the page and see how the Cherry Trees are coming along in Branch Brook Park.

04/22/18 Earth Day

By Earth Day, the tulips are really in full bloom, thanks to the warm sunny weather. This time I am showing off my backyard garden and my new dwarf Macintosh Apple tree which has been planted in time for Arbor Day which comes on Friday, April 27th. It will take three to four years of growing before it is ready to bear fruit; you just can't rush Mother Nature.

04/18/18 Tulip Time!

The front yard tulips are beginning to open up around the new Dwarf Apple Tree I planted earlier in the month.

04/14/18 Another warm sunny day and this day I can see that the Moonglow Pear is getting ready to bloom for the first time. It is four years old now, and it's about time for it to begin bearing fruit.

The Bartlett Pear tree next to it is also four years old, but the buds are just starting to show. Whether it will blossom or not still isn't known.

Last year, the front yard Cherry Bush produced five sweet cherries (that we know of; the birds may have gobbled a few). This year it looks ready to begin producing enough for a Cherry Tart, at least. If it does, I may prune it back in the fall so it doesn't grow so high next year. It's supposed to be a shrub or a bush, not a tree.

04/13/18 It is a beautiful warm, Spring day. There's a warning of a cold dip coming, so the leaves will continue to protect the plants growing beneath them.

04/11/18 Spring rolls on, slowly.

As the rest of the daffodils emerge, slowly because of the cold temperatures, I notice that the dormant dwarf apple trees I recently planted are slowly showing signs of life as the tiny buds appear.

My sister sent me a Strawberry Bag for my birthday, and the Quinalt Everbearing Strawberry plants get carried around to all the sunny spots, as well as carried indoors for the cold nights we have been experiencing. They seem happy.


04/06/18 First Daffodil Blooms in my garden.

The sun shone on this daffodil all day long and by 4:40 PM it was ready to shyly open up and reveal itself to the world. The others should start blooming tomorrow and by Monday there should be a good display of daffodils in my garden. After that... tulips!

04/02/18 - Snowmaker 1 - Winter's Last Gasp.

This last Snowstorm of the season (for East Orange) started about 4:00 AM, slowing all the Spring bulbs growth rates down, but not stopping them. The winter storm doesn't rate a special name, so it is just Snowmaker 1. Snowmaker 2 will be right behind it, but will only produce rain in East Orange, so we are finished with snow storms, although not quite free of night time low temperatures. The leaves will stay as ground cover until we are sure there will be no more overnight frosts.

I'm too sick to go out and shovel, but fortunately, I can put my bird crew to work on clearing the front walk by scattering birdseed on it. Between the birds and the sun, the snow should be gone in a couple of hours. The glare in the photo is a reflection from my front door window - every time I open the door to go out to photograph, the bird crew flies off and goes on strike until I go back inside.

We seem to have gained a squirrel supervisor who is taking advantage of the easy ground seeds (it can't get into the bird feeders!). The bird crew is not very good on making straight edges of the snow, but it does melt much faster with them flapping around on it as they feed and fertilize. The bird seeds are environmentally safe, cheaper and better than salt, and now their shells and the extra bird fertilizer can be swept onto the garden as compost to continue doing good work all Spring and Summer long, feeding the fruit plants and flowers.

Good job, crew! I'll call you again next winter! I notice that the squirrel quit and went home early. Tomorrow your birdseed will be back in the bird feeder where the squirrel can't get it.

03/31/18 Forsythia blooms in East Orange today!

Right on schedule, after the Crocus and before the Daffodil, you can count on the Forsythia to bloom, and it did today. Unfortunately, this is not growing in my garden, so I had to borrow this view of a neighbor's shrub. But all over East Orange, you will be able to see the yellow blossoms on similar shrubs for the next few days. March is going out like a Lamb, just as it came in like a Lion, following the old proverb. Today, it was warm enough for me to sit in my growing garden and play a few songs to Spring on my guitar.

03/24/18 Suddenly it's Spring! The Crocuses are blooming all around the yard.

This is the
First Crocus we've been watching, and it brought along a friend.

03/22/18 Morning After Toby - Breakfast With the Birds

Roads are clear, sidewalks are being shoveled, birds are flocking to feeder. The First Crocus will soon emerge again. All's well with the world.

4:10 PM

By 4:00 PM, the snow has melted enough that we can just see the purple bud of the First Crocus poking out, unharmed by the experience.

03/21/18 Winter Storm Toby - Here We Go Again!

Winter Storm Toby, the fourth "Nor'easter" in a row this year, begins its path from south to north across East Orange. The snow has covered up the First Crocus (purple arrow) but it won't stop the tough little flower from continuing to bloom once the storm has passed on by.


The birds (Wrens) are worried, but wait patiently for me to trudge out and refill the bird feeder. Once it is filled with bird seed, it is the most popular place to spend the afternoon, if you have wings and a beak.


03/20/18 First Crocus Appears!

Better late than never, the First Crocus appears in the middle of my front garden, surrounded by tulips and daffodils that are still struggling against the cold. Today is the first day of the Vernal Equinox, otherwise known as Spring, and I had to search around until that spot of brilliant purple showed me where it was hiding. It has not fully opened yet, and tonight the fourth snow storm (Toby) has been predicted for our area, but there's no going back once Spring has started.


03/17/18 Members of my family, who live in northern New York, make use of the snow storms to keep their Sugar Maple trees producing sap that they then boil and evaporate into Maple Syrup. The photos were taken by my niece who will send us more so we can re-learn the old art and science that once flourished at the end of winter here in East Orange, on those streets that were lined with Sugar Maple trees as shown below in the 1909 Annual Report of the Shade Tree Commission.


Brian Yaichuk fills jars and bottles with hot maple syrup.

03/16/18 Chilly Temperatures Push Back Cherry Blossom Blooming Dates to 03/27 or more. That explains why the crocuses have not yet blossomed in East Orange this year. But what is bad news for the Cherry Trees and Spring bulbs, is good news for those up north of us, like my niece and her family who live in upper New York State, where they are just beginning to harvest sap from their Sugar Maple trees and boil it down to make Maple Syrup. At one time, large numbers of the shade trees in East Orange were Sugar Maples, and some still remain, but the art and science of tapping the trees for their syrup has been all but forgotten.


03/13/18 - Winter Storm Skylar is phasing out Winter and ushering in Spring. The light snow isn't sticking to the paved areas and just provides a light dusting on the places where snow from the previous Winter Storm Quinn still lingers. By 2:00 PM, the snow had stopped falling and it mostly melted away by then. There are still no crocuses in bloom but daffodil buds can be seen forming on stems in the garden.


03/07/18 - 5:38 PM The heavy snow is going to break a lot of tree branches. Notice the way the slender trees are bowing under the weight. I should have done more pruning. Oh, well! Nature is going to do it for me.

03/07/18 We had Winter Storm Riley passing through on March 1st - 2nd without much effect, and now Winter Storm Quinn is dumping a load of snow on East Orange on March 7th. The garden will be covered, but only for a short time, so Spring won't be delayed very long by Mother Nature. Tulips, Daffodils and Crocuses are used to it.


02/24/18 - The warmth of Spring 2018 arrived early again this year. On February 24th, shortly after Winter Storm Noah last weekend, it was warm enough for the tulips and daffodils to begin poking green sprouts up above the protective blanket of autumn leaves in my front yard garden in East Orange. As usual, the brown autumn leaves will remain in place until we are sure that there will be no more frosts this Spring, then they will be gently raked away from the growing plants that are waiting just beneath them.

Some of the street flowers will need to be replaced owing to an "attack" by a weed whacker last year, and the usual inconsiderate flower pluckers who pass by. But the ones they missed are still in hiding and ready to appear on a schedule of their own.

The first flowers to appear are usually the purple crocuses. Last year, the crocuses arrived on March 2nd, surrounded by still developing tulips.

The first fruits are the strawberries, having survived the winter in pots buried under piles of leaves. They are already showing signs of new life and just need a bit of pruning, a little fertilizer, and some loving care to start producing the first berries.

I will continue to record the arrival of flowers, fruits and berries as Spring continues...

This year Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22nd, followed by Arbor Day on April 27th.

Previous Arbor Day Photos -2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014

Cherry Blossom Peak Blooms Expected to Begin March 17th in Washington, DC this Year.

Update: 03/16/18 Cherry Blossom Peak Blooms NOW Expected to Begin April 8th to 12th in DC.

Cherry Blossom LIVE VIEW Web Camera

If anyone else in East Orange wants to share their garden photos on this page as their gardens come to life during the Spring and Summer of 2018, please feel free to send them to me at jimgerrish@yahoo.com .

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