The seedling of an idea blossoms into a family tradition of planting fruit trees...
Peach (Dwarf Patio)
An average size tree produces enough oxygen in one year to keep a family of four breathing.
I am comforted that our family fruit tree tradition and fruit tree birthday gifts have generated more oxygen for the environment and the fruit is a tasty bonus too.
During the past few weeks further fruit trees have been added to our garden but not to commemorate more children. Those days are long over!
I must admit I was a bit concerned when my husband requested a fruit tree from each child for his 50th birthday because alongside the children's trees we also inherited with the house an enormous pair of Ash trees, some very tall Leylandii and a long line of Laurel guarding our boundary. It has to be said that whilst we are fond of trees and plants in general we are by no means gardeners and the green things are running riot in our garden. I was worried about adding new trees to the mix and wondered whether there would be enough space and light for them to grow. I decided that I should research small trees and buy accordingly as we didn't want to disappoint the birthday boy. After finding out some useful root-stock facts I went to a nursery, armed with children and we hunted for suitable fruit trees. They decided it would be fun to each choose a different fruit that would be symbolic in some meaningful way.
The Discovery apple was chosen to reflect his interest in scientific discoveries. We were advised it is easy to grow and fairly resilient, which also seemed fitting with the recipient in mind.
Last but not least my youngest chose a small, cute fruit tree that can stay in a patio pot. I am not sure whether it was more to remind his dad not forget his youngest child when he has long since left home rather than symbolic of something specific about my husband. However, the dwarf patio peach has lovely pink blossom and I was not going to argue with a fruit tree that needs very little space to thrive on our patio while providing tasty treats.
'The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil'.
Pear Fruit Blossom
The Stardust cherry was chosen because it is for a 'Star' who is interested in all things scientific including the wider universe.
The Benita Rafzas pear was chosen because like my husband it originates from Asia. It is also noted for its exceptional crisp texture and mellow sweet flavour, not disimilar to his character .
A bonus is that the RHS recommend it to be an excellent attractant and nectar source for bees and other beneficial insects.
My husband and I are scientists of varying biology kinds. His work in medicines discovery and development finds him delving into the workings of the human body on a molecular level whilst my medical training has been more about the human body on a larger scale. They are both immensely fascinating and interdependent. We also share a concern for the planet and worry about the threats of climate change on the environment. We try to do our bit. We have probably been caught on CCTV sneaking along the road on the eve of bin emptying day to see if any of our neighbours have spare space in their recycling bins as ours is over-spilling. Don't worry, it is a habit they are aware of and fully support if there is space for us to do extra recycling! However, we are acutely aware that our efforts are a small 'drop in the ocean' as to what is needed globally. We also carry the guilt of having a big family and a love of travelling therefore adding more than our fair share to the human carbon footprint.
To ease our conscience and to mark the birth of our first child we planted a small fruit tree in our back garden and from that sapling a family fruit tree tradition blossomed. That first tree was a lovely weeping cherry. We thought we would be able to nurture it and watch it grow alongside our child. Unfortunately, my husband changed job and our little family had to uproot ourselves and move counties. Sadly, we felt that the cherry tree should stay put for fear of damaging it in the move. We occasionally drive past our old house on visits to see old friends and the last time we peeped through the fence it was thriving. Our son is comforted by the fact it is growing in the garden of the house where he was born.
We have been in our current house for 18 years, have had three more children and acquired three more trees. I would like to say they are all fruit trees but as expected there is always an exception to the rule. We have a mulberry, an olive and the one that broke with tradition is a beautiful Acer. Whilst the Acer is not of the fruit variety it was hard to resist the stunning, flame red leaves
Pear (Benita Rafza)
Four New Fruit Trees- All Different and Special