My Friend’s Pear Tree

My friend alerted me to a horticultural phenomena in her yard that she insisted that I must see. There was, she said, an ornamental pear tree in full bloom and in full fruit.  Impossible, I thought. It’s fall. It’s 46 degrees. “Just come,” she said.  I stopped by her property on a morning when no one was at home. I traipsed across the lawn, kicking up the fall leaves, venturing down toward the river bank in a lower section of the yard. Tucked into a protected corner of the yard at the end of a line of trees and vegetation was a vision of springtime. There it was in all its glory….  an ornamental pear in a profusion of blossoms and covered with a gazillion fruit. Dazzling. Heavenly. Stunning.

She and a multitude of horticulturist friends and master gardeners have declared the tree a Cleveland pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’), in the same family as the Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’), yet smaller, studier and a more profuse bloomer.  All I could do was stand there and stare. It was so out of place with trees around it, leaves ablaze in shades of fall… red, orange, yellow and brown. These white blossoms, kissed with pink, looked all wrong. I know it’s not uncommon to have a few flowers out of season but this was a rare sight for me.

When I heard a rustling inside the tree, I peered inside to see what might be sampling the fruit. My friend’s resident mockingbird dwells within and was not shy about letting me know who owns this tree.

The blossoms of the tree were being enjoyed by a swarm of bees, flies and other insects including this end of the season, tired looking Buckeye butterfly.

Thank you, Felicity, for alerting me to a vision of springtime in the season of pumpkins and fall colors!

Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester

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