|Buds encircle the single open blossom like satellites |
Our orchard boasts three apple trees. Well, maybe boast is the wrong word - we've never had a real crop. Apples are clearly not my forte. First, there's the "dwarf" Granny Smith, which towers high over everything in the orchard. The huge tree produces a few apples every year; they're too sparse and high up to bother with, and usually misshapen, so they are eventually enjoyed by the wasps. Then there's the Red Delicious - this really is a dwarf, and a nice little tree in spring. Then it makes its mostly mealy red apples abundantly, but the worms get to them before we do. One of these days I'll remember to put out those apple maggot lures in early spring... Finally, the newest entry into our apple inventory is a Royal Gala, also a dwarf. And sure enough, three years after its purchase it still hasn't noticeably grown, nor shown a serious effort at producing fruit. Meanwhile, it has the stature of the humpback of the Notre Dame.
So we must console ourselves with the pretty blossoms that brighten up the back yard in spring, and be content with the useful range of dappled to dense shade they provide in our orchard nursery area - providing a temporary home for perennials of varying needs. After all, what's an orchard without apple trees?
We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.
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November 20, 2006