Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Persimmon mishap

When I decided to acquire my persimmon tree, I had a grand vision of an espaliered specimen against by backyard cottage. I ignored the fact that eventually, the cottage would need to be painted.

I have no one to blame but myself for choosing a) the worst place to plant a tree and b) the time for transplanting my persimmon tree. I knew I had to move it to another place in the garden or at least temporarily pot it up while my house was being painted. So why did I decide this weekend to move it? I know better to take on such a task when the tree is dormant; not when it's fully leafed out in sunny weather.

Part of me didn't give the persimmon a chance. I bought it as a whip from Swason's on clearance towards the end of fruit-tree-planting season. It's been in the ground for 5 years; the first of which I didn't think it survived the winter. It's faithfully leafed out yearly since, but fruiting was another issue. I started to doubt it would ever happen. Even though I know it takes most fruit trees 7 years to reach maturity and produce fruit. So I put off the transplanting project until now--a week out from said painting project.

As I start to dig out the root ball, I notice these little things along the branches. I can't believe it, or actually, I can. Of course, this is the year it fruits...when it's slated to be moved.

You can see four small fruits just starting to grow: two towards the lower right of the photo and two on the upper left.

I did manage to dig it out and pot it up, but it's understandably going through transplant shock. I'm hoping it will be ok and currently scoping out a new location for it in the garden altogether. I still like the idea of an espalier and probably am committed to it since it's been trained as such early on.

I'm doing all I can now to save this tree. I've certainly learned my lesson...


Monday, May 12, 2014

Bay Laurel

I was surprised to see my bay laurel in flower a few weeks ago. I've actually never seen the culinary laurel, Laurus nobilis, flowering.


This plant is "dioecious," meaning "two houses," where there are separate plants with either male or female flowers. This plant in my garden is female.

Enough with the botany lesson...

I love this slow growing shrub in my garden. It's right next to my front steps and easily accessible for a few leaves when I'm making marinara sauce or I need a sachet. Such sachets of a couple bay leaves, smashed garlic cloves, and whole peppercorns wrapped in cheesecloth are popular in Thomas Keller's stock recipes.

Even if you don't use the leaves in your kitchen, it's still a handsome must-have plant for your garden or in a container on your patio.