Sunday, June 7, 2015

appley dappley

in which our plucky heroine does both kind and unkind pruning...

This week, I realised that the uppermost branches on the apple tree still had thick clusters of green apples, and needed more fruit thinning. By removing most of the small apples now, the remaining ones, six or more inches apart, will be able to grow into larger apples. At least that is the theory. If the squirrels don't eat all of them. Looking at the tree this closely is also making clear the places where further pruning makes sense; the new growth is going every which way since the stronger pruning this past winter.

Some time every morning thinking and eventually pruning, will help the tree grow into a shape both useful to my backyard and easier to pick. The tree itself doesn't care about what I need; it just wants to grow and reproduce, a tangled web of branches and tiny fruit are just as effective for that goal. The bowl full of green apple thinnings is probably enough to turn into some apple pectin, and if I can find some good red rhubarb, I can make strawberry-rhubarb jam happen...

Getting better about doing some writing every day, usually in the morning after my walking. While this might not match the instructions in The Artists Way, if I don't walk first thing in the morning, it is soon too hot to enjoy the walking at all! As far as making things, today the only thingmaking was the ongoing while-on-transit embroidery of the cuffs for the next Mr Robertson tunic, the one with the little Norseguy woodworkers on the yoke... another few days should see those sleeve embellishments finished, which will let me finish the tunic... The decluttering that sort of happened was that I went over to my pal Ursel's house and spent a big chunk of the day keeping her company while she did housey-chores. In return, tomorrow will have her coming over here to keep me on task while I do some decluttering of my own here at the cottage...

... did I today ? :
write pages walk 20 minutes make something declutter excess
yes yes sort of sort of

Ursel gave me a very kawaii new addition to the family of tiny* maneki neko figurines that live here at Acorn Cottage: the oversized (at 1.5") charmer on the far right of the picture. Labeled "flowering fortune", initially the directions attached made me think the idea was to bury the whole tiny cat in the garden and the enclosed seeds would sprout, but on further examination, the paper sticker on the bottom peeled away exposing a small red envelope tied in red and gold braid, with a fortune attached to a wee packet of flower seeds. Much less disturbing! The idea is that as the seeds sprout so will your good fortune...

*yes, these really are that small, they range from 1" on down to 5/8" or less...

Yesterday in the backyard I noticed the pear tree didn't look quite right, so I did some research... Sad morning, I had to do some radical pruning, because of what I think is fire blight - almost all of the new young shoots were wilting and starting to blacken. Bartletts are particularly susceptible. The painful thing was that the protocol for control has you prune 10 to 12 inches beyond the affected areas, which pretty much took out all the few baby pears as well. I will be keeping a close eye on the tree for more diseased areas, and hope to not lose the tree... but tonight I just found a large canker on the main trunk, which is a sign of larger infection... Not sure what to do now... If I cut it off 8 to 10 inches below that, I will be left with a stump and no branches.

June SMART goals
1 Jen jumper thinned apples bag to Goodwill
2 - pruned pear bin of twigs
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