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sprig to twig » Blog Archive » orchard time

orchard time

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This is what all of the trees in the orchard looked like a few weeks ago.

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While I tend to throw myself at the garden in fits and starts, Richard is pretty good at pacing himself. A couple of hours a day, and pretty soon…

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their haircuts complete, the trees are ready for prime time.

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With a bonus of plenty of twigs to bring inside and force into bloom. These are pear blossoms that have been in a sunny spot in a vase with water for two weeks.

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As you can see in this closeup, some blossoms have fully opened, while others are still coming on. I am partial to the little ball shapes before they unfold.

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The cherry trees were a bigger project, requiring some engineering and using ropes as pullies to keep big, heavy limbs from falling on cats or humans. This stash of limbs and branches leads to fantasies of rustic structures.

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Here’s a bucket of cherry branches sitting in water, waiting for the sunlight to work its magic and coax them into bloom. If you lived nearby, a big bouquet of these would be yours for the asking.

Our first year here, we were intimidated by the orchard and hired a neighbor/arborist to do the work for us. We paid attention while he lopped and lectured. Like so many things horticultural, timing is everything. Get that right (in general, because even there quite a bit of leeway exists) and the rest is just a matter of putting in the time. With days like we have been having lately, it is pure pleasure to be out there ‘playing’ in the sunshine.

7 Responses to “orchard time”

  1. joco Says:

    What a brilliant idea, bring them into the house to force early blossom. Tidy orchard and indoor flowers in one fell swoop.
    Why did I never think of that?
    Maybe forsythia would do the same.
    BTW, have you ever grown an apple tree from prunings?
    I know sticking an apple in the ground doesn’t guarantee the same variety, and grafting is beyond me, but I wonder about cuttings.

    We have this wonderful apple and no idea what it is called. I just wonder if it will be as easy as roses.

  2. Grace Says:

    This is ironic, Ricki because just yesterday afternoon I looked up and noticed the telltale swelling buds on my pear tree. Time to prune. I hate this job but I wasn’t terribly fond of changing diapers either. You do what you gotta do. I wonder if your hubby has a few free hours, LOL.

  3. ricki Says:

    Jo~ forsythia, for sure…and quince, if you have it. I think the whole grafting thing is pretty important for apples, but what’s to lose? Let me know how it turns out, if you decide to experiment.

    Grace~Richard came along after the diaper changing stage, so maybe he owes the universe (or you) some time.

  4. Jane Says:

    It seems like quite a job. How many fruit trees do you have, anyway? I love the idea of enjoying the trimmings indoors but the idea of having something that requires regular, extensive pruning goes against my concept of laziness! Good for you for not taking them out (as we did where we are now: an old nasty pear and a Gravenstein that was in exactly the wrong place.)

  5. ricki Says:

    Jane~It is a lot of “work”, but after longing for a place in the country for many years, we still feel like we are “playing house”.
    How many? Two pears, four apples, three cherries, one plum and if those were put in order we could have added a partridge.

  6. Frances Says:

    Hi Ricki, what a wonderful beginning to the growing season! I envy those branches, both for forcing but more so for the rustic structures! That is something we have fooled around building for years. The fun part is that it will disentegrate over time and you can do it all over again. Learning from mistakes of course, just like the pruning. :-)

  7. ricki Says:

    Frances~Oh man, learning from mistakes…do you realize how smart we are going to be before we die?

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