Thursday, April 03, 2008

Coming Soon: Springtime Garden Update

I'm not really the most devoted gardener. And that's a bit of an understatement. But when it comes to those plants that make FOOD, I'm quite caring and attentive. When we bought our house, one of my favorite things about it was the apple tree in the backyard. It makes really delicious apples that are great for eating, and more importantly, great for baking. :)

In the four years that we've lived here, I've also built and installed 2 planter boxes in the front yard (I'm planning to build #3 this month). And, I planted a Meyer Lemon tree, an apricot tree, and a Black Mission Fig tree. I don't remember what kind the apricot tree is. Last year was our first year getting any fruit off the apricot and fig trees, and since the trees are still young, the harvest was predictably small.

I'm so delighted to see that the harvest is growing this year! Especially on the apricot tree. I grew up with an apricot tree, which forever spoiled me. Now I LOVE fresh, super ripe apricots, warm off the tree more than almost anything... yet those are so rarely available. I'm hoping our sweet tree will bring those dreams back to reality! Look at all those sweet little green apricots-to-be! (Truthfully, that's the most productive branch.... but it looks great, huh??)

Here's a baby apricot close up. So fuzzy, and still with the remnants of what was a lovely blossom just a couple weeks ago. How freaking amazing is this whole fruit-producing-tree business!!?? It is such a miracle. I suppose in some ways we have the seed-plant-blossom-fruit cycle figured out, but in a bigger picture sense, it still boggles my mind.

Our little lemon tree goes through periods of activity and inactivity. Still young, I usually end up buying lemons at the market most of the year. But I have a feeling that will change in a few months when the 1 MILLION green lemons on our tree all reach perfection at the same moment in time. Plus, the tree is already bursting with a new round of buds and blossoms, which is great to see. (and smell!)

We even have a few little tiny future figs on the end of each branch... can you see them? The figs are tricky, because the birds like them as much as we do... and they make it their full-time job to monitor their ripening progress moment by moment. I think last year we only ate one fig, and the others fed our local bird population. That's okay, I don't mind sharing with my feathered friends.

And you can see, last but not least, that the apple tree is veritably bursting forth into blossoms, and it's gorgeous! The apple tree is in the weirdest place, in a tiny little loveless zone of dirt behind our garage... but it's clearly a productive spot, so I'm not complaining. I can't wait for the autumn bounty of apples! Isn't it amazing that the blossoms now won't be fruit for months and months to come?

Thanks to Bazu for asking about Spring in Santa Cruz, it was what gave me the idea for this fun post! Happy garden time to you!

ps. bonus vegan gardening dilemna:
what about snails??? do any of you out there have snails? I have finally given in and started using sluggo in my veggie boxes, but we have SO MANY SNAILS it is truly insanity. Last night, after a rainy day, I probably took 40 snails off my two small planter boxes. One poor little sugar snap seedling had SIX snails on it. And then this morning, even after dumping sluggo left and right, I still went out to find 3 snails on my sugar snap peas (surrounded by sluggo)... Sigh! Of course I carefully move the snails to the side yard... I really don't want to kill them, but they don't seem to be any good at sharing either. Dilemna!


  1. wow, i'm so jealous! i miss having a yard.

  2. What gorgeous photos! I am so jealous, we still have so much snow up here in Ontario :(

  3. As I've said before, I can't grow anything so I'm most impressed with your garden. I ADORE fresh apricots and they are so hard to come by. And I eat apples every day - how wonderful to have your own tree to give you delicious apples!

  4. I am sorry for you snail invasion. Knock on wood they have not found my garden yet. I hope someday we can have some fruit trees too. My grandpa had a apricot tree and boy did he spoil us.

  5. Guess who will be visiting when all that gorgeousness is ripe & ready?! ;)

  6. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Living in Minnesota, it is mind-blowing to me that you can grow all that stuff! I do have two nice apple trees on my 2.5 acre lot. Lots of land, but very short growing season...


  7. Anonymous2:18 PM

    I forgot to mention that I have never tasted a fresh apricot!


  8. awesome- I feel refreshed just reading this post. It's especially poignant because we might not get to garden this year, seeing as to how we'll be gone for much of June and then are taking off at the end of August, right before the best harvest time. Ooooh, and I have a strange love of unripe stone fruits, when they're still green and fuzzy!


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