Thanks for recent comments!
A visit to Birr Castle to see Magnolias etc:
Early photography at Birr:
Czar Plum Blossom at home:
“Czar is a large dark black/purple early-season plum, with good astringency and useful for culinary purposes. It can also be eaten fresh if you leave it to get fully ripe. The blossom is a notable characteristic, being unusually large for a plum.
The Victorian fruit enthusiast and author Robert Hogg was sent some samples in August 1874 by the growers, Rivers of Sawbridgeworth. This was the year of its first fruiting. Hogg subsequently rated it as an “excellent plum”. Rivers named it Czar in honour of the Czar of Russia, who visited England that year.
Czar soon become a popular garden plum in English gardens, being easy and reliable to grow (thanks in part to blossom which has some frost resistance), and producing good crops.”
Hopefully some knitting news soon…