Back in 2020 I ordered a couple of Apple tree seedlings, one was “Montys Surprise” but the second one was actually three apple varieties in one tree, a grafted tree with Braeburn, Golden Delicious and Royal Gala. They have both been slowly growing, and as Spring approached I checked them regularly to see if any buds were forming… About three weeks ago, some buds started to form on one branch of the triple tree and now a second branch has started to bud, with the first buds now becoming flowers!
So maybe I might get some apples this year!!
By contrast my two blueberry plants have never done very well – I had them both in large plastic containers, but have read how plastic is horrible for plants roots, especially in summer dark plastic gets very hot and basically burns the roots. Planter bags are better, as their roots basically get ‘air pruned’ and all of my mandarin and avacado plants in planter bags are doing very well… I also read Blueberrys hate having dry roots, so I decided to replant the two blueberry plants into soil in raised bed in one of my greenhouses… So it is quite satisfying to see them starting to do better.
I was thinking philosophically about gardening the other day. A few people have compared gardening to their creative work, for example Brian Eno Composers as Gardeners and Joan Miro’s book I work like a Gardener but my thoughts were a little more existential. I was thinking about how as we get older, habits start to accumulate – for better and for worse. Time keeps passing, regardless of what we do it, until time runs out. And it is that relentless passage of time that makes gardening so rewarding. Like compound interest, a small sustained effort rewards the gardener in many ways. First, paying attention and being aware of the season and time of year. Second, spending time outside, soaking in Vitamin D away from screens. Third, appreciation for the diversity and beauty of plant life – visually, smell, taste. Fourth, to appreciate how delicious naturally grown food is (especially compared with ‘normal’ supermarket produce) and to share both that food and seedlings, cuttings etc… Fifth, experiencing the life cycle of plants.
But it is that simple idea, that time passes regardless of what you do. Planting seeds and growing seedlings is a hugely beneficial way to savour that passage of time. There might even be apples (and apple crumb!)