Saturday, April 8, 2017

Who Wore It Better?

'PrairiFire' Crabapple
ProfessorRoush has a guilty little secret to confess.  Come a little closer, please, I don't want to shout this to the world (looks left, looks right, swivels to look behind, lowers voice).

When I'm waiting somewhere, doctor's office or haircut or oil change, and when I rummage through the  magazines while waiting (I have to read, I can't just sit there), my favorite magazine to read is....People.   As much as I grumble about the cultural devastation wrought by Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and the Kardashians, I still prefer to bide my down time in the tabloid company of the stars.  To my further discredit, I think one of the best recurring themes in People are the "Who wore it better?" pictorials.  In full disclosure, I generally prefer Salma Hayek over Lindsay Lohan in that red evening gown.

'Royalty' Crabapple
Today, working all day in the garden, I was honored to be in the presence of three finely jeweled leading figures, my trio of crabapples, all decked out at once at the peak of their bloom.  Obviously vying for my affections, all three were posing the "Which of us is wearing it better?" question straight up.  So I thought I'd bring them here, to ask your help.  What do you think, who wore it better?

Was it 'PrairiFire', pictured at the upper right, with her prolific blooms destined to form oodles of 1/2 inch fruits for winter?  This 'PrairiFire' was planted in back in 2009 near the vegetable garden in one of the most continually moist spots in my garden and seems to be doing well here.   She is relatively fast-growing and the bees were very busy today tending to all her lady parts.  She has been a fickle lass for me, however.  I dallied with several other 'PrairiFire' in the past before this one and lost them all to drought or cold or prairie fire or  pure gardening incompetence.  'PrairiFire' is a little too high maintenance here in Kansas where the prairie fires can snuff her out in an instant.

'Red Baron' Crabapple
Or perhaps is it 'Royalty', adjacent to my front driveway, who shows off the best?  'Royalty', pictured at left above, is a 2001 planting, has a somewhat rotund overall form, and I often complain that she hides her purple-red blossoms within the wine-cast foliage; a pretty maid in purple sackcloth.  She has been a slow grower, but is stalwart and dependable in her own way, sort of a Carrie Amelia Moore Nation of crabapples.

And then there is Monsieur 'Red Baron', displayed at the bottom right, a suave gentleman, but yet another of the poor choices of burgundy foliage that I planted during my "wine foliage" period.  He is a 2002 vintage and is planted out near the road.  Tall and slender, 'Red Baron' seems as embarrassed to have his deeply dark red flowers as I am in admitting that I read People.  

Oh forget it, my introductions to each have probably swayed you towards my personal choice, 'PrairiFire', so I'm just tallying another biased poll like all the pollsters in the last Presidential election.  I, myself, undoubtedly prefer 'PrairiFire', even if she is a little high-maintenance, for her brighter blossoms and for the fact that she never produces suckers, chaste in contrast to the other two older crabapples who are prolific sucker-makers (sucker-ers?).  'PrairiFire', in my garden, is the strawberry-blond Julia Roberts of Pretty Woman, wearing it best, year after year.

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