Friday February 14th 2014, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,My Garden

(Okay, it’s not at all as close to the fence as that photo makes it look.)

We bought a huge pot last fall on closeout at Costco, and on a wistful whim I bought a big bag of soil there too earlier this week; maybe the cherry tree needed more, right?

It was Stitches weekend a year ago that the water heater blew and my transmission did too. One of the things we talked about while deciding whether to try to replace the car right away was how, way back when we only had the one, that uninterrupted quiet time together at the beginning and ending of the work day was something we had actually missed in the years since.

Let me report that it has worked out okay most of the time. (The commute being under four miles does help.) Although, there have been days.

We were almost to the office this morning when Richard said that the one problem with this today was that he couldn’t sneak out early to go buy me roses this Valentine’s.

I said wistfully that actually, I’d really rather have a Comice pear tree than roses. (And I knew they are by far his favorite pears, too.) I had bought that pot talking about a mango tree, waiting for the season to change to where it wouldn’t possibly freeze en route from Florida, but when it came down to it, we both preferred the other, didn’t we?

We did.

We could plant it in that pot in that spot in the back where the tree guys are going to take out a dying cypress after nesting season is over; we could get a year’s head start on growth and then tip it into a hole there later. Or even just leave it in the pot to help keep it small. I already know the neighbors on both sides of that corner are hoping for bigger and over the fence.

And so it was decided. I called Wegman’s Nursery–and yes, actually, they had three, still. I headed over there mid-afternoon. Forgot my sunblock (BAD lupus patient, BAD!) but remembered my hat and I wandered around the place and finally (with help) found the fruit trees in a side yard there.

The Comices looked great, with one particularly thick and sturdy and strong-looking. *Very* nice–I was impressed.

The guy helping me asked if I wanted the (flimsy) pot it was growing in? It would be an extra five bucks. It wasn’t much and I said no and he grabbed the tree and shook the thing off–and all the soil away from the roots. Oh. It was still dormant so he pruned it for me and wrapped the roots carefully up in a plastic bag, pulling the handles tight around the trunk. Laid it across the back seat of my car once it was paid for.

But in the pruning, he lopped off the top, which included a big side branch and looked like a new bare-root tree unto itself and rather than have it be tossed, I asked if I could have it? I mean, I could plunk it in water and hope it sprouted roots, couldn’t hurt to try, right?

The guy chuckled and handled it with the reverence he did the tree itself. This was someone who clearly likes what he does for a living. But he did say that the tree really needed to be planted today, or at least not to let the roots dry out, but, plant it today. I promised him I was going to.

My friend Sally pointed out to me that the little one wouldn’t have the same rootstock, and she’s right, so I checked: the graft they used is supposed to help limit the future size of the tree, although one could prune anything to whatever.  Okay. I know that you can buy rooting hormones but I don’t think I’m that invested in it–so if you’re local and you want to play with it and see if you can turn it into a free tree, let me know and it’s yours. Must supply own partridge at Christmastime.

The pot needed holes drilled into it and the drill needed charging up. Richard took me out to Smitten to pass that time well: order the most excellent ice cream and watch them create it in front of you, frozen by nitrogen. The Tcho‘s chocolate is the first chocolate ice cream I have ever tasted that does that flavor really, really well. It was our first time there and definitely not our last.

Home again, there was drilling and sweeping away of plastic curlicues and flashlight holding and dumping in of guano-covered gravel that had been under some of the trees out back for stability as the Comice gets heavier and hauling of soil and watering and pushing out a well in the pot and planting and more soil and more watering and tamping down around the root ball and wishing there were more to put in there.

We will buy more soil tomorrow. Right now those roots are moist and protected and looking good.

My sweetie gave me my long-wanted Comice pear tree for Valentine’s and helped me plant it and I am beyond thrilled.

And: when I picked him up at work, he was standing outside holding a vase with red roses and baby’s breath and loving my disbelieving laugh of, How did you pull that off?! Google Express? (But they don’t do perishables, I thought, but maybe for Valentine’s?!)

He grinned. “They were selling them in the cafeteria. For a reasonable price, even!”

So was my tree. Make that, so was our tree.

I’ve got me a good one. Just the best.

4 Comments so far
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I’d wish you partridges, if your hawk friend would allow.

The rooting hormone is a good idea. I had great fun years ago growing ficus cuttings. Maybe if no one wants the pear challenge, someone would be able to give you a bit of root hormone for you to experiment. I’m curious now.

Comment by LynnM 02.15.14 @ 2:31 am

So happy you got your pear tree! Not sure if it would work with a woody stalk but I have had success rooting roses and Rhodies using honey. It needs to be raw honey but it works better for me than the rooting hormone I tried before. Just carefully remove the outer bark/skin, cut a diagonal and dip in the honey. I used a bit of sand and put the entire thing in a clear plastic bag, set in a bright but no direct sun spot and kept moist. Had roots in about 6 weeks. Good luck with your new tree.


Comment by sue o 02.15.14 @ 3:27 am

Happiness is a new fruit tree! Sadness is….no Stitches this year for me. :-(. The girls decided on Friday, which I cannot do.

Comment by Ruth 02.15.14 @ 11:12 am

Wow, he bought you roses and a pear tree after you threw blueberry cake at him?! That is true love.

Comment by twinsetellen 02.16.14 @ 9:20 pm

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