The orchard, March 2019

This has been one of the best years I can recall for fruit-tree blooms. Come with me on a walk around the orchard–the real one. These photos are from 19 March.

The first tree we come to is one of the oldest trees in the orchard, the ‘Royal’ or ‘Blenheim’ apricot. It is having a less than profuse bloom, but better than the strange, staggered one it had last spring. In prior years, this tree had set really well. It may not be in the best of health, as a tree that was here long before I arrived six years ago.

Now, as we enter the main part of the orchard, the first stone fruit we come to is the ‘Cotton Candy’ aprium, one of the younger trees in the orchard (planted two years ago). It had a couple fruits last year, but this year it has had its first substantial bloom. Still, however, a less profuse bloom than I expected, given all the winter chill we got this year.

The ‘Donut’ peach, also one of the younger trees, is having a nice bloom.

The “flavor Delight’ aprium was one of the first trees I planted five years ago. So it is quite mature now. Here we see its last few flowers, and also the fruit set from the main bloom, which got underway in mid-February.

The ‘Flavor King’ pluot looks around the orchard and says, you all are doing fine, but no one does full bloom like I do full bloom.

The ‘Monique’, a white-fleshed apricot of unparalleled sweetness, never blooms well for me. But this winter was cold enough to get some blooms out of it, and you can also see some other buds about to open here. It has had its best bloom since I first planted it five years ago, which is not saying much. But I am hopeful of at least a few fruits, and this one earns its keep even if it fruits only once every few years.

This is the ‘Raspberry Red’ nectarine. It is a pretty rare variety, and I took a chance on it six years ago in the first batch of trees planted just after we moved in. It has had a few fruit–really intensely flavored–but never blooms or sets well. It has more blooms this year than ever before.

Since these photos were taken, the ‘Hnuza’ apricot has gone into full bloom like I’ve never seen it before, as has the ‘Canadian White Blenheim’ apricot. And several other varieties of plum and peach/nectarine are blooming nicely. It really has been a spectacular spring. Of course, a good bloom does not guarantee a bountiful harvest, but it certainly raises the odds of one!

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