Sister Trees

Here’s what I see each morning when I look out of my kitchen window into the backyard.

This is a White Rose of Sharon. It is also called Hibiscus syriacus.

What you can’t see are the myriad bees, both honey and bumble, blanketing its blooms in the summer sunshine. They are avaricious reminders that this tree is healthy and strong.

Here is its sister tree in my front yard.

This is also a Rose of Sharon. It has deep reddish/purple buds. Each spring and summer it leafs, but the bees don’t visit it because the buds remain tightly closed. When we bought our house two years ago, the previous owners told us it had never bloomed. We watched it carefully the first year. We tried cutting away at the undergrowth and giving it more nutrients. It doesn’t seem to have helped, probably because we have no idea what we’re doing.

I don’t know why one blooms and one doesn’t. I hope to find a way to help the Red Rose of Sharon bloom. Maybe, one day, it will bring as much delight as the flowering white blossoms in my backyard.