We’d bought and potted those two trees in anticipation and hope of this day happening.
They planted my cherry tree today–and since it had recently been repotted by our friends, it had only barely started to grow through to the ground. Theoretically, as an ultradwarf, it shouldn’t get too much taller than this but rather more outward.
Well we’ll see. That’s good soil in that bed. I remember my dad trying to replace a broken six foot Blue Peter rhododendron a painter had fallen onto and having been told, Blue Peters don’t grow six feet!
Mine do, he told them.
I hope to take as good care of my fruit trees as Dad did his rhodos. Although, having a backhoe in and adding six feet downward of great soil before planting–okay, Dad, you win. (That was when their house in Bethesda, MD was being built when I was three; he asked the builder to dig a little extra along the front for his future flowers.)
The surprise was the Comice: it was a mere bare root on February 14th and already it had a good taproot squeezing through one drainage hole and smaller ones through all the others. (I drilled about 20–the Costco pots had come with none.) They had a good firm grip on the ground below.
I want a tree, not a pot, yes please.
They made sure that where they’d prepared was where I wanted it. I thought, eh, I might have nudged it six inches thataway but that’s just way too picky–the hole was ready and it was good so it was just right. “Perfect.”
That was when one of them asked me about that sunjacket I always pulled on every time I stepped outside.
“I have lupus,” I said, sure that that would mean nothing to him–most people have no real idea.
“One of my co-workers, his wife has lupus. Sometimes she’s in a wheelchair.”
Ohmygoodness, so he did know–I winced in sympathy. I told him sometimes I’d been in one, too.
I came away hoping that it would give comfort to whoever she was out there to know one could go through whatever she was going through and still get to be older with this disease, and I wished I could introduce her to 92-year-old Rita.
They set part of the taproot in the carved-up pot for me to see. That tree had wanted to grow freely. And now it can. Pears have no rootstock options that dwarf them as much as you could an apple or a stone fruit, so we put it in the one corner where it would not shade the solar and it would not be too close to the house. It can take over there freely in the space we opened up for it. (Dying cypress, gone at last.)
And now that blank expanse of fence on the other side has some green to it, too. I love the long lush leaves of cherries. I pulled up a chair and my knitting and stared at the loveliness and the relief of having a tree in there already. It’s a great start.
Chris came to inspect the job in progress and as we spoke in the yard, movement high above caught my eye and I pointed it out to him: there he was, Coopernicus, right on cue (always the showoff.) I told Chris we’d gotten to see him courting with his mate perched on the silk oak next door through our skylights this past spring. He thought that was so cool.
Some hunting places gone, the new begun already.
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