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Posts Tagged ‘apple tree’

The grapes are sour

September 25, 2016 Leave a comment
Some of the grapes high up in an apple tree

Some of the grapes high up in an apple tree

The grapes are actually very ripe and extremely sweet – not the least bit sour although most of them were way out of my reach.

I got some bunches down ‘by hook or by crook’ – a very apt phrase in the context.

Maybe next year I’ll try to direct the vine a little lower through the branches of the apple tree.

Ball bearings

August 17, 2016 4 comments
A background of apples

A background of apples

This prolific apple tree makes an attractive background to our double-headed lantern.

It’s a show rather than eat tree because its apples aren’t at all nice (and we have plenty that are).

In fact it’s rather hazardous because the fallen apples turn up everywhere and skid under the feet like ball bearings.

The farmer’s boot

November 29, 2015 Leave a comment
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.

Tidal wave

April 17, 2013 4 comments
No room to tread

Evergreen clematis in full bloom

The cold, wet weather may have meant there’s no blossom at all on some of the apple trees, but it didn’t hamper this clematis.

The photo is of the inside of the balustrade, where the fronds have pushed through like a tidal wave.

It’s difficult to imagine where any more blossoms might be fitted in!

The perfume, which is extremely heady, practically knocks you out when you go near.

The flowers remind me of the little white plastic crosses which Chokri has been using to space tiles with.

Tantalus experience

October 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Tantalus was tortured by having fruit that forever eluded his grasp. This was rather my experience with the apple tree in the photo.

Apple tree with brambles and wild clematis

I took a tarpaulin there today to lay over the brambles in front of the tree and protect myself from the prickles. It worked reasonably well, but what I hadn’t realised was that the tree grows on the edge of a steep bank  masked by those brambles.

As I edged forward, it was as if the tree receded in front of me. I only managed to pick 5 apples before I had to reconsider my approach.

The bank drops into a deep, damp hollow surrounded by brambles and wild clematis but otherwise relatively clear.

What I did was knock the apples I could reach with my stick down into the hollow, then slither down there and pick them up.

When I got back to the house I tried one. They’re hard, juicy and full of flavour – really good apples. It’s such a shame that all these old trees have gone to rack and ruin with canker and invading weeds.

Magic apples

October 9, 2012 2 comments

Inaccessible apples

These branches belong to one of the two trees I call the Magic Apple Trees.

When we first viewed the house before buying it, they were bearing golden apples in the middle of a sea of greenery and they made a deep impression on me.

Unfortunately part of the magic is that the apples are almost completely inaccessible. The trees grow on the edge of raised ground and most of the fruit is on branches over the void.

Yesterday, poking up as far as I could, I managed to reach a cluster of 3 apples with my ‘fruit hook’, a curve of very stiff wire on the end of a bamboo pole.

The first apple landed against brambles half way down the slope and Joules went for it. (Not to fetch it, but to eat it himself; luckily he obeys me when I shout at him to stop.)

The second sliced itself partly open on a rock and skipped a great distance into a clump of grass.

The third rolled until it hit a tree trunk and was seized by Kepler.

Kepler knew, as he always does, that he had a great prize so there was no way I was going to get it. I found it later on the gravel in front of the house.

These are delicious apples and the wild boars polish them off if they fall on their own. I could wish, though, that the challenge were not quite so great in order to obtain the riches …

The orchard in spring

April 15, 2012 Leave a comment

The photo shows the corner of the orchard  furthest away from the house and the drive, where there are two apple trees next door to each other.

The weather has been so wet of late that I doubt if much of the apple blossom has been pollinated.

The rain has been excellent for the grass, though.

The grass in the orchard is quite different to the grass in the olive grove beyond it, even though we never sowed any grass seed after planting the fruit trees but just let it repopulate by itself. It’s much softer, lusher and fast-growing.

It’s perfect if you want to flop down in it for a picnic or a snooze at this time of year, but (along with its weeds) it rapidly gets to head height if you don’t strim it.

I’ll be having the delightful job of strimming it quite soon. In fact the sooner the better, because if everything gets too high, it’s twice the labour.