Plum blossoms

A few years back now, I gave DH a four-way grafted plum tree as a celebratory gift. June, is her name. Two years ago, she gave us a single branch of the most delectably delicious fruit we’d ever dreamed of. Previously, I was not a fan of plums. As with most things, if we grow it ourselves, we gain a new appreciation for all that it is.

Last year, for reasons undecided, we were not gifted with any fruit. She didn’t bloom much, but the blossoms she did offer were enjoyed by the bees. There wasn’t a late freeze…or was there? I can’t recall. Needless to say, we had no plums.

The branch that gave us the fruit two years ago bloomed one little blossom on Monday. Tuesday, there were a few more…
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And this afternoon, well, let’s just say June has been busier than the bees have so far this year.
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But wait. What’s this? A second variety is joining the flower fest for the first time.DSC_0057

And the other two branches have buds waiting their own floral debut.

This winter was not any colder than past winters, or wetter, but it definitely had more cold days (or chill hours, as they call them in Tree Speak.) I can’t help but think that the other varieties require slightly more chill hours than the first, thus the petals pushing their way forth. I can barely let myself hope (and yet can hardly wait) for those same fruits again this year. And perhaps for three more varieties to try (and fall in love with) to boot!

It’s time to start hardening off the tomatoes, and nearly time to plant them out. I haven’t made their bed yet though…want to see how one hauls a half yard of compost when you sold the pick-up to purchase a family car? But of course you do!
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It doesn’t cost anymore than buying it in one bulldozer drop into the back of the truck. It does, however, require a good bit of shoveling, lifting, and heaving. I was just talking about how I didn’t have time to both garden and go to the gym…

Seasons are as seasons do.

On my trip this week to Houston I couldn’t help but notice the corn was higher than my head, with the tassels starting. Where I grew up there were corn farmers (and grass seed farmers, Christmas Tree farmers, cherry and peach and berry farmers…) and those farmers are just sowing their corn for the season now. 

Some years I have tomatoes by now, and this year I don’t. Some years the strawberries don’t have a chance to fruit well for the early onslaught of heat, this year they did (and continue to do so.)
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Seasons in Texas are measured two ways – in the classic four seasons (which are measured by what the calendar says it should be) and in the Texas weather way (Not Hot, Beautiful, Hot, Thunderstorm Season, Beautiful, repeat.) 

Depending on whether the storms come, or the heat is early or late, the plants do as their coding dictates. This keeps us gardeners on our toes! Not for late frosts or lack of sunlight, but for baked seedlings or flooded fruit. 

 

The backyard this year is the usual mixture of expectations met and seasonal surprises. Like finding more strawberries this morning. Or finding that this fern, so lush and happy in March…
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…is now gone without a trace.

Or that these plums just setting fruit in March…
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…have started to turn.
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Then there’s the Monster Chard that has been keeping you in gigantic leaves of green since October was discovered by the hungry hundred caterpillars.
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And the Forgotten Beet that made the most delicious “french fries” (thanks to DH’s talents.)
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Which reminds me, I need to not forget about the Onion Rope. The instructions on the internet conflicted with those in a book, which weren’t terribly clear. We’ll see how it goes, but it may just be that DH eats them all before they reach a questionable storage age anyway. (Onions being yet another food I enjoy growing but do not enjoy eating.)
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