Several years ago my neighbour presented me with what looked like three dead twigs. He told me they came from a plum tree and showed me how to root them with hormone powder. Securing a clear plastic bag over their pot, I stood them in a sheltered corner and forgot all about them.
Two ‘took’ and I transferred them to larger pots, then ~ when we were landscaping the front garden ~ planted one either end of a raised bed. There they thrived, despite our fickle climate ~ but they never came into bud.
One year I noticed that the foliage was gradually disappearing ~ each morning there were fewer leaves. Wondering if they were being attacked by a parasite, I read up about plum trees ~ but nothing seemed to fit the symptoms. I even went out at night with a torch, to see if I could identify the pest before it destroyed the plants. Eventually I took some half~eaten leaves to the garden centre, to see if they could shed some light on the mystery muncher.
‘Pigeons!’ Declared the owner, emphatically. Well, I’d never have thought of that ~ there are several pairs nesting nearby but I’d discounted them as culprits because I thought they were too fat for the slender young branches to support.
I strung a line of sparkly twirlers between the trunks, hung wind chimes and sun catchers on canes at either side and chased loitering birds off the fence. My efforts were rewarded ~ the trees recovered, grew stronger and the following year three or four flowers appeared on one. The single fruit that survived to maturity was delicious ~ golden yellow, (which surprised me,) literally bursting with sweet, dribbly juice. Delicious! Then last year I picked enough from both to make the filling for a crumble.
A couple of weeks ago the branches were still naked, then a few tight buds appeared. Yesterday, after a few days sunshine, I went outside and was astonished to be greeted by this:
Magnificent! Mother Nature in full bloom!
Isn’t it amazing what a little bit of care and attention (and a bucket or two of horse~poo) can do?
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