When my nine-year-old son discovered Fruit Cocktail trees, he could talk of nothing else. I’d never heard of them till our neighbor shared her plans to plant an edible garden. For the uninitiated, a “fruit cocktail” is a multi-grafted fruit tree; one tree, four varieties of fruit.
These trees are a boon for suburban gardeners with tiny lots. Another plus is the harvest season. The fruits mature at slightly different times extending the bounty gradually over the season.
Last spring we had beautiful fruit, but we were ill-prepared for nature’s scavengers. The squirrels and rats picked the tree clean in a day. We’re more prepared this year and will “net the tree” as soon as the flowers begin to fruit.
I photographed the beautiful blooms today, then removed the identifying tags. Reading the fine print on the back of each one made me smile.
A few gems:
“Self-fruitful in most climates.”
“…some tartness near the skin.”
“Tangy when firm-ripe, sweetest when soft-ripe.”
“Reliable, heavy-bearing tree.”