08/20/2022 fruit tree check-in and pruning

I was going to trim the granny Smith back carefully to see if any life remained in the tree, but it broke right off at the base, completely dry, in my hands. So that one’s a goner. I’m not sure if it was too much water or too much heat. I don’t think it was too little water, as the soaker hose leaks prodigiously near here.
The north star pie cherry died this year and I checked the trunk- no green left. I think it was irregular watering (boo, me) and heat.
The surecrop pie cherry lost all its leaves a bit later, but I found a bit of green as I pruned back its branches. I think this winter we will move it to where the Granny Smith apple was, and then replace the soil in the corten planters and do native calcareous barrens flowers there instead.
Paula found a magnificent preying mantis and it helped us look at clouds in hope of rain.
We pruned the remaining apple and pear trees back. The first summer ones are supposed to be down to three short branches, so it’s especially sparse looking. This is supposed to help them stay small. The two remaining second-summer ones are trimmed back but more branches left in place. They’ll all get pruned again in the winter for structure and shape.

07/22/2022 our first and only apple

We looked at the William’s pride apple tree today and the apple was missing!! Concern. We found it on the ground.
Sadly, the bottom half was rotted. I forgot that William’s pride is an early variety, so we should have picked sooner before it fell.
However, we cut off the bad part and the rest was quite delicious! A nice texture and magnificent smell!!
Gram was less impressed than we were.

06/05/2022 bird nest

Bird’s nest fungi, that is!!!
The Chef noticed these this afternoon. Very excited.
A William’s pride apple!!!
I realized there are multiple kinds of horse crippler cactus. Mom helped me identify this as Echinocactus horizonthalonius (the common and widespread subspecies), based on it having eight ribs. The flower closed in the sunshine today. Apparently it needs a second individual to make fruit, ie it’s self sterile (also known as self incompatible).
Some kind friends brought us a big obsidian rock!
I put it near the baby two leaf senna. I think the black and yellow will look very nice together.
A small pokeberry growing in backyard.
A Texas dandelion accidentally brought from home! Yay!

Strong plants and strong ants

Horsetail just shoves the hard soil out of the way!!
More Stark Surecrop Pie Cherries.
Soaker hose hard at work for the winecups and chamomile.
The hose has a leak so I put the leak over a pot of Maximilian sunflowers.
The Chef spotted ants carrying away this insect. Maybe a soldier fly??
He also spotted this milkweed bug. Hi milkweed bug! All three butterfly milkweeds in the front yard rainbow garden are up, plus the wild milkvines are pushing up everywhere too.

Pre vacation plant check (Tuesday)

Two Datura wrightii! They have thinner, slightly grayer leaves than the unknown seedlings also coming up in many containers.
Several interesting seedlings in the lowest tier of the cactus planter.
The peach flower buds opened!
Gram did a lot of work helping me pack. He and the Chef are staying home.
Briar hits the road!

Peachy keen

Paula spotted our dwarf peach is about to bloom! The peach tree had a rough year last year when I had to redig and replant it to make way for the geothermal pipes, so I’m glad to see it sprouting.

Indoor tomato, outdoor dinner

Wes put the indoor Dwarf Audrey’s Love tomato in slices on this sandwich.
“hello I am sandwich”
During clean up, I saw one daffodil blooming by the compost. It came with the house.

Dwarf fruit grove additions

Quality assurance inspector
Paula found a loofah deep underground while digging one hole. How?? Why????
Four new trees all dwarf or semi dwarf: Liberty apple, Seckel pear, Kieffer Pear, and McIntosh Apple. We’re supposed to be on the edge of conditions for those apple varieties but with three other well adapted types already planted last year, I figured why not try. I really love McIntosh and they’re so rare around here.