Sunday, May 20, 2007

Garden photos

As requested, here are a few pictures of recent additions to the garden.

First, the apples:
That's the Cortland on the right, and the Northern Spy on the left. I'm actually standing right by the fence at the bottom of the garden, so this is sort of backwards from the way I usually view them when I'm looking out from the house. Those are raspberries growing at the corner of the Old Garden behind them.

Next, the new Damson Plum:
I was thinking of putting it down at the same level as the rest of the garden, but when I dragged it out to the patio, it looked so nice, I thought maybe we could keep it up at this higher level. Besides, damsons are not always reliably hardy - they're only rated as Zone 5 (in Canada), and that's just where we are. The closer things are to the house, the more sheltered they are, so it seemed to me that it would also be safer, as well as prettier, to plant the tree right in front of the deck. If it grows tall, it may even provide some shade to the house. Anyway, once it was planted, I realized that this is the very best spot in the whole yard - the tree is already about 6.5' tall, so it gets the sun as soon as it comes over the house, long before the plants on the ground get it. So it's in sun from about 8:00AM until the sun goes down - 11 hours a day right now, and that will get better as we get further into summer.

A few other items...

Two views of thhe Northstar sour cherry:

It's a dwarf cherry, so I think it may get about as tall as the fence. This year, it has a lot of cherries on it, so I'll be covering it with netting to see if we can save them from the birds.

Fritillaria meleagris:

This is such a cute bulb, but they're picky about where they want to live. I've planted lots of them around the house, but this clump is the only one that seems really happy, and slowly increases in size each year. The purple/white checked flower is called the "snakeshead fritillaria", and it's the one I really wanted, but sometimes they devolve back into the plain white variety, so I have both growing together here.

The pink currant bush:

This one is just loaded with flowers this year. It did well last year, but this time is beyond anything. The red currant next to it is doing well, too. Alas the black currant has had a setback. I think I nicked its roots with the rototiller, and it went into shock. Many leaf buds just froze and wouldn't open. It's gotten just a few flowers this year. I'll let it rest this year, then prune it back hard just before winter; that might allow it to regain strength and come back, though I fear it will never catch up with the other two.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that I was explaining to Dean why I needed TWO apple trees, but could get by with just one cherry and plum tree.

"Apples need a second variety to cross-pollinate, but plums and cherries are, for the most part, self-fertilizing."

"You mean to say, this plum tree is going to do 'something funny' to itself?"

This comes from an old Florence King article from the time of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, and fortunately I was able to find a quote from it that illustrates what Dean meant, and why this expression has permanently entered our lexicon:
....It is 1952. Now 16, I have lost my baby fat and gone from duckling to swan, and my mother, who normally pays no attention to anything except baseball and her hero Sen. Joe McCarthy, is being uncharacteristically maternal. We are washing dishes when suddenly, out of the blue, she says:
"If a man ever asks you to do something funny to him, you tell him to go to hell, you hear?"
"What do you mean, 'something funny'?"
"Never mind, just promise me"
Mystified, I promise. The mystery deepens as she swung off on one of her patriotic tangents.
"That's why the French can't win a war without us! It saps their strength! They're so busy doing something funny to each other that the Germans just walk right in!"


Blogger The Bovina Bloviator said...

Dear Doctor,

Warm thanks for the photos, and I hope you will provide us with updates. If you will forgive some utterly unqualified advice from an urbanite, prune those suckers within an inch of their lives (as our Lord instructed; John 15:2) and you will reap the bounty. God Bless.


9:52 pm  
Blogger Kasia said...

Ahem. Of your courtesy, please do not provide pictures of the damson plum "doing something funny" to itself. ;-)

The King excerpt is a scream. Totally love it. King's mother sounds a bit like my maternal grandmother...

12:54 pm  

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