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The farmer’s boot

Colony of rosy apple aphids on an apple leaf

Colony of aphids on the underside of an apple leaf

In early June, just before I went back to be with Clive in the hospital in Paris, I spotted rosy apple aphids on some of the apple trees.

In the few hours I had before the journey, I picked off hundreds of badly-affected leaves and sprayed the rest with soapy water, thus perhaps avoiding a major infestation.

It bears out the meaning behind the frequently-quoted Italian proverb: ‘L‘occhio del padrone ingrassa il cavallo’  – ‘The owner’s eye fattens the horse’; English equivalent: ‘There’s no manure like the farmer’s boot’.

Today, having at last finished my piecemeal spraying of the orchard with the ingredient I missed out from the first pass, I felt properly re-acquainted with the trees.

It may help me reach some decisions when it comes to the pruning.

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