Having decided to give ourselves some structure to these nature posts, we are now – for the next week or so, looking at things beginning with ‘A’. No, not – A man or A butterfly but something a little more defined. Like Apples, Aardvarks, Aartappels and Ants…
Perhaps with the odd not – A thing too depending on what’s going on in the world.
Apples for today, something that we will probably re-visit more than once as, actually, I know so little about them. Bit of a novelty really, having spent more than half my life in Africa where we grew soft fruits and citrus in our gardens rather than apples and pears. So now I am living on a plot the size of a pocket-handkerchief, as the saying goes. My house and garden have a smaller footprint than our triple car garage with workshop and a guest room either end had. This makes space (or lack of) a major challenge.
When Bronwen asked me one day if I was ever going to think of replacing the silk plant I had outside my kitchen with a real one, I suddenly realised that, yes, my back garden is non-existent, but maybe I could plant something in a pot there. A trip to the nursery where apple trees were in full blossom made me think. No room for a tree. Certainly not two (as most apple trees require a second to pollinate) but a ‘Pot AppleTree’? Maybe.
So, late spring I bought my tree and it is now bearing just 10 apples! Lost a lot of blossom in heavy rain and strong winds, but the fruit that is on this tiny tree looks, for the most part, surprisingly lovely! This year, I didn’t worry about bugs and diseases, just made sure it was well fed and watered (yes, that too can be a problem here in (wet) Wales. I also make a point of telling it how well it’s doing – Brooke has been known to talk to my plants too, – I wonder where she got that from?
Now it’s time to watch the fruit to make sure it is picked when ready – and that, I’ve discovered, is when you cup the fruit in your hand whilst gently twisting at the stalk to see if it breaks away easily.
So now I know my fruit needs a few more days – possibly weeks. So, I’ll return to my apple post once I pick the fruit!
The variety of apples out there is amazing, and each country seems to have their own varieties. So, I will begin to explore each that I come across and let you know if there are any that you must try – or maybe should perhaps avoid!
For our blackberry and apple crumble last week, we used apples from Bronwen’s garden. Left to basically fend for itself, it did manage to produce a few small, surprisingly tasty, but very marked fruits which maybe could have stayed on the tree a little longer. Amazed they stayed on as long as they did with Brooke being so excited to pick them off!
We’d love to hear if people have harvested their apples yet this year? How did they grow and what will you be doing with them?