There’s a small apple tree outside the bedroom window, and it’s bearing as much fruit as it has room for on its few straggly branches. It’s quite a young tree, so the branches aren’t really strong enough yet to carry that load, and one of them in particular has gone from being almost perpendicular to almost touching the ground. (You can only see about a third of the apples in this picture, but it was the best I could get.)
Well, I made a support for it from a few old pieces of wood, and now it should hold until the apples are ripe for picking. It looks sturdy enough, and I’m quite proud of it in the sort of way where you know there’s really nothing much to be proud of, but you are. You see, my maternal grandfather had a farm with a commercial apple orchard, and I’ve always had a great respect for that man so it means a lot to me to have an apple tree, even if it is only a 5-year old tree that could be snapped at the trunk by hand if I wanted to. It’s an irrational and emotional attachment to this tree that makes me so pleased that I have it – and that it will give apples enough for me to eat through autumn, though they are not the type that will keep well through an entire winter.
Last night I thought I would bring some of the garden with me to my city flat, so I went out and found some flowers that would cheer up the place and make the flat and the summer house connected somehow. At least temporarily.
That’s when I realised that right now there are only pink flowers in the garden. (And very few white ones, like the white sweet pea in the picture.) I love the hydrangea, even though it’s perhaps slightly garish and touching on the vulgar. When I lived in Paris I knew a woman who loved tulips with a passion because – as she said – the possessed a certain beauté bête, a stupid beauty. She meant no disrespect by this; merely that they were such simple, yet exuberant flowers that she could not help but love, in spite of finding them much less interesting or elegant that other flowers that she loved less. Well, I sort of feel the same way about hydrangeas, especially when grown in alkaline soils like ours so they have the bubble-gum pink colour, rather than the slightly more elegant blue. (Though I confess I might have to turn these pink hydrangeas into blue ones to get them to fit in with the bed they’re in.)
Also, the small bowl contains blood mirabelles (to translate directly from Danish). Basically they’re regular mirabelles but grown on a red-leaved mirabelle, so they have the most wonderful, deep, dark purple colour that doesn’t really show in the picture. The flesh is kind of boring – not very sweet and perhaps a touch bland – but the skin has a lovely tartness to it, and they’re so deliciously plum that they almost burst when you bite into them.
In actual garden reports, I can tell you that the lawn was again severely flooded by rain this week, and the small stream behind the house (that drains part of the forest further inland) has swelled to a degree where the lawn would be a lake if it weren’t for the low 1 1/2′ dike that runs the length of the stream; the water level this morning had sunk a bit but was still just above the level of the lawn… Draining the garden really is a key thing to get done before spring if I want to live out my dream of planting borders in any serious way.