From Windblow to Cordova, flowers in the ground and on the trees are blooming.
The Bradford Pear trees are getting attention, and not just because of their thick, white flowers. They happen to smell to many people like rotting fish. According to Richmond County Cooperative Extension Agent Paige Burns, the Bradford Pear trees that often line streets and driveways, are easily destroyed.
“They break very easily,” she said. “They have tight branch crotch angles, and during winds, ice storms and tornadoes they break. They are notorious for that.”
Burns said it may be a week or two before the trees stop stinking.
In the north end of the county, peach farmer Danny Bynum is pruning his peach trees. He has over 100 acres, where his family has been growing peaches for more than three generations.
“There have been peaches as long as I can remember in Windblow,” said Bynum. “My granddaddy C.H. Bynum and my daddy W.D. Bynum had peaches in the ’40s and ’60s. Then we had large growers such as Ralph Myrick, D.P. Gallimore, and L.G. DeWitt, just to name a few. I remember in the spring when you rode through Windblow it would look like someone put a pink king-sized sheet on both sides of Highway 73. It was so pretty. Now since the big growers have passed on, my 30 acres (beside the road) of blooms in the spring look like a pink twin bed sheet — but hey, Windblow still has a sheet.”
Although Windblow seems like a forgotten small farm town to many, to Bynum, it’s famous.
“We even have a peach named for our small community. It was developed at the Sandhills Research Station, a part of North Carolina State University, in 1972,” he said. “The free stone peach is non-browning, good for freezing and canning. Many people say this is the Rolls Royce of peach varieties.”
Bynum retired from the railroad and dedicated his life to peach farming. He also sells peaches, peach trees and other produce.
“I have left my heart in the peach orchard,” said Bynum. “I sell more (Windblow peaches) than any other variety, and it’s probably the best seller in North Carolina. The Windblow ripens the first week in July.”
As the ground warms, early spring flowers like crocuses and tulips will be gracing the sidewalks and flowerbeds of Richmond County. Don’t hesitate to share your flower pictures on the Daily Journal website’s MyCommunity, by visiting www.yourdailyjournal.com.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.