I was warned. I was told in no uncertain terms at the beginning of my seedaholism that ‘It starts with seeds, and it ends with trees’. And so it has come to pass…From cuttings to trained forms, I am starting to find everything about tree growing absolutely fascinating.
Feeding the frenzy are this week’s discoveries. Firstly, squirrels have gifted me a treelet. I found a whole soggy walnut a month ago while digging over the potato bed. I didn’t put it there, so I assume the grey furries did. It had split open slightly and I reburied it, crossing fingers, somewhere that my spade would leave untouched for a while. Like the squirrel, I forgot about it. This week I found a 15cm shoot sporting a baby leaf. (The photo’s a bit wobbly – it was windy…) He looks very much like the little cutting in Guardians of the Galaxy, so my own tiny Groot’s been potted up and placed in a sheltered spot with my spare apple tree for company.*
Secondly, two bareroot damson and crab apple twigs are positively thriving in their pots. I was a bit dubious about the stubby damson, which looked to have had its roots hacked off, but it’s covered in leaves and even attempted a flower or two, so my worries may have been unfounded. The crab apple, a Harry Baker, is just gorgeous. Deep pink blossom with dark bronze leaves, Harry is a real looker! There can’t possibly be many apples in its first year with me, so I’m very happy Andy’s said I can have some of his again. Crab apple jelly is too delicious to miss out on.
Thirdly, there was unexpected new life in a clear plaggy bag stuck under the grow lights. Charlotte Russe mulberry stems are very fragile and I broke one off while unpacking my plant. On the off-chance it might live, I wrapped it in damp tissue and sealed it in a ziplock bag. Now I discover that there is a new shoot growing and some very tiny roots. I’ve potted that into a very light mix, and it’s back in the bag to keep up humidity, though now on the hokey-cokey windowsill as it’s warmer in our bedroom than in the kitchen. If it survives, I’ll have a second mulberry bush, and a clear plan for growing more without spending any of those shiny new pound coins!*
Fourthly and finally, I was tipped off that Suttons were selling off bareroot trees for a fiver over Easter weekend. A peach and a medlar ‘fell’ into my basket. They might need to live in pots for a while, given I have No Clue where to put them.
That has to be the end of my tree buying, no matter how many tempting things I see…there is no space left at all! I have ordered a vast quantity of metposts, and tree training will begin very shortly.
*Please don’t die, please don’t die, please don’t die!
Categories: Diary 2017