Several years ago I succumbed to the purchase of two columnar apple trees. They’re supposed to grow directly up and stay compact for small gardens. I only wanted one, but the nursery people told me I had to have two that would cross-pollinate each other. They told me which ones would flower at the same time (in theory) for this to work.
Over the four or five years since I’ve had them, they’ve each borne between one and three apples a season. Not great returns, really. The trees actually blossom at slightly different times and I’ve put it down to that. Once or twice I’ve picked the apples, but they tend to fall off the tree before they’re ripe and get eaten by birds or possums. I’ve been considering the whole exercise a complete waste of time.
But… this season, one of the trees has been inexplicably growing a crop of some 30 to 40 apples! Some random bee must have had a fine old time pollinating my tree, and the result has been amazing. I’ve been watching the apples grow in little bunches, too many to even count! Every time I go near them I peer up at the little nubs of fruit, completely thrilled.
But, alas, I doubt I’ll see any of it ripen, once again. Each morning, a few half-grown green apples litter the garden bed, and by evening they are gone.
Am I mistaken in thinking my garden birds are looking mighty fat this year?
But I’ve reached the conclusion I don’t mind feeding the birds. It’s all part of the cycle of life, after all; and what’s exciting to me is watching the fruit develop out of the flower. It grows without any interference or assistance from me, and I find that amazing.
I don’t even mind feeding the caterpillars, because they metamorphose into butterflies.
The miracle of my apple tree is my inspiration of the week. Do you have a green thumb and/or a producing garden? What’s your favourite thing to grow?