Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Apple Trees...How They Came To Be...

I like to garden. I love getting my hands dirty; I love the colours of the flowers and the leaves, the smells each produce, and the textures produced from the smallest petal to the largest tree as a whole.

Gardening has been a part of me right from my earliest memories. I lived with my mom and my grandparents for the first 4 years of my life, and I remember going out to the vegetable garden with my Poppa to weed and harvest the produce. Poppa would work away and I would usually abscond a cucumber and plop myself down in between the rows of veggies and munch away. If it wasn't a cuc, it was beans, or peas, or carrots, or strawberries, or...whatever I could get away with. Poppa was very good about me helping myself...Grandma on the other hand, was not as forgiving - especially when I decided the pea patch would be my target!
We had gooseberries too...oh, those were the days...

Later on in life, my dad's mom - Grandma Pat - had a very prosperous garden center where I learned even more about plants, furthering my love for gardening. I would work in the garden center planting seeds in the spring in the greenhouse, and unless you have been in a hot, humid - filled with new growth, greenhouse, you may not appreciate the delightful earthy fragrance that would be reminicent of a rainforest, or even a forest on a hot muggy day after the rain. Either/or, the smell was very pleasant to me.

Grandma Pat's father started the garden center and Campbell's Garden Center still stands today. The location of the center has moved from by the river to out to the highway, but it remains in the family with my aunt continuing the business.

It was Grandma Pat's father who bought apple trees from an orchard nearby and planted the parent tree to my trees below. The apples are like a Mackintosh but they are actually a heritage apple whose name Grandma Pat can not recall.

From the parent tree, which is about 100 years old, I took 66 apples and buried them in my garden. In the spring, I had 6 seedlings. Of the 6 I gave 4 away and kept 2. For the past 6 years I have babied my trees. When I moved to my current location, I couldn't decide where to put the two trees, so I kept them together. Four years later, I was afraid to dig them up to separate them, so I left them and I forged ahead, bravely pruning them this spring...

And look!!!! I have buds!!! I will have blossoms!!!!
The picture is not the best, but when the flowers begin to bloom, I will take a better pic.

I could not be happier! I didn't think that my trees were going to blossom so soon (they have been through 2 moves, less than optimum soil conditions at times, and a newbie pruner). People kept telling me they would not blossom for another few years...Ahh, I am pleased. I normally do not 'baby' my plants. If they do not thrive under normal conditions, including drier-than-normal, then I do not replace them....harsh, but practical. My apple trees were different. They carry a heritage, a positive memory trigger to my youth, they are the result of my diligence and care. I will continue to nurture my trees and I look forward to the fruit they will produce...with great pleasure, I look forward to their fruit! I will keep you posted on their progress...

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