The Fruits of Someone Else’s Labor

May 2, 2007



When we arrived here just over a month ago, there were no leaves on the trees but several were covered with blossoms. As the days went by, I spent a lot of time looking at them, trying to decide what they would be. I’m sure there are people who can look at a stump of wood and know what sort of tree it is, but I’m not one of them.


The last tree is dropping the last of its blooms now, and I’m pretty sure finally that it’s an apple tree. We have two cherries which would have produced a much finer crop if I’d realized that they needed water a week ago. Instead, many of the baby cherries have withered and are falling off. What’s left are looking good, and should be ready to pick in a few days.


We also have a plum, which didn’t suffer the same dessicated fate as the cherries and is full of plums. I don’t particularly like plums and it looks like we’re going to have a bunch, naturally. 6 well established grapevines are budding now; I like grapes but what will I do with so many?


In the back we have a very small peach (or perhaps nectarine) which is bringing forth a handful of fruit. There also may be a hazelnut, I’m not sure. I’d like to know why a search for ‘hazelnut tree’ on google doesn’t give any clear picture of what a hazelnut tree looks like without the nuts.


Externally, there are dozens of walnuts in the area and I’ve even seen a fig. Figs were a very common tree in Greece, but I didn’t realize they’d grow in this area of France. Our sometimes neighbors who are here only a few weeks have two pears and what I think is an apple.


One thing is sure, I love that these trees are going to make fruit all on their own. It’s a little magical – and if there’s one thing that’s missing from adulthood (in my opinion) it’s magic. I’ve been told by parents that having children brings magic back, but I think that’s a rather drastic measure to take so I’ll stick to reproduction of the horticultural kind.


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