Meeting Serendipitously

Serendipity!  It’s everywhere.

A few weeks back, while sitting on our deck, a woman called to me from the curb . She was looking at our Little Free Library and wanted to ask a few questions. As it turns out, she wants to build one of her own.

We chatted for a while and discovered all sorts of things in common: our love of books was an obvious one, but she also likes making cards and she enjoys miniatures. It was fun sharing my fairy garden.  She’s also a gardener, and the conversation turned to a lovely book called Epitaph for a Peach.

Honestly, we could have chatted all day.

A week or so later I came home to find her lovely note, a handmade card and a copy of the book, graciously on loan from her own library. My heart swelled.

handmade card

Handmade by Jaci

Epitaph for a Peach is

A lyrical, sensuous and thoroughly engrossing memoir of one critical year in the life of an organic peach farmer, Epitaph for a Peach is “a delightful narrative . . . with poetic flair and a sense of humor” (Library Journal).

When Jaci reads this she won’t mind that I shared the first line of her gracious note:

I very much enjoyed our serendipitous meeting recently…

because of course she doesn’t know that serendipity is my word of the year.  I’m still smiling.

Little Free Library

Though the novelty of the library subsided a few months back, I’m still delighted when people stop by. Books continue to flow in and out.

Two recent additions include Beverley Canon’s A Tale of Two Tails and a copy of Robert Munsch’ The Paper Bag Princess.

A Tale of Two Tails is a gift from the founder of Friends 4 Pets. Beverley takes in unwanted cats and shelters them till she can find them a good home. My sister Sharon fostered a few cats for her as well.

A Tale of Two Tails

A Tale of Two Tails

Munsch’s children’s book is the tale of a  princess with a feminist ending.  How could I resist?  It flew home with me from Victoria, making it extra special. Spoiler alert: the last line of the book is “They didn’t get married after all.”

The Paper Bag Princess

The Paper Bag Princess

The Long View

Thanks for commenting and voting in yesterdays’ poll on photos with the long view. If you missed the post and you’re interested, please let your voice be heard.

A Day in the Garden: Made to Order

If you like to garden, today was made to order. The temps climbed into the 70’s F (24C) with just the stirring of a breeze. Can you believe it? After a day in the garden, I have a sore back but a happy spirit. My perfect husband had plans for the afternoon, but still took time to dig a few holes before he left, voluntarily and with no complaining. Coincidentally, we met 19 years ago today.  I’m so glad I had the good sense to make sure he danced with me first that night.  🙂

Digging Holes

The Man of My Dreams

Where was I…

Oh yeah…digging holes. A few months back, I decided to thin the overgrown shrubs around the fruit cocktail tree, originally thinking I would re-plant with a few annuals.  Today we removed the last three overgrown shrubs, making enough room for the two new raspberries. There was also enough room to transplant the blueberry plant, which after three or four years is just limping along. Hopefully the blueberry likes its new home. I’ll be filling in with annuals if not.

Raspberry Cane

Raspberry Cane

Blueberry Shrub

Promising new growth on the blueberry shrub

I tamped the dirt into place and stepped back realizing we’d created a micro fruit orchard.  I’m using the word “orchard” liberally; with our tiny suburban lot, it all needed to fit into about 6 x 8 feet (1.8 x 2.4 meters) of space.  Our micro-orchard has blueberries, raspberries, plums, nectarines, peaches and apricots. When you garden in a tiny plot, every bit of dirt counts.

Since rain is forecast (oh how they tease) I figured I would make good use of the day.  I pulled out the last of the broccoli plants, now covered in green pests, before they could multiply further.  We dug out some old raspberry canes, and moved them away from the raised beds.  Moving them gives me more space to plant vegetables and herbs.

I finished the day raking, pulling out dead twigs, watering the pots (yes…the hose in early March…sigh) and sweeping the walkway.

“An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life.”- Cora Lee Bell

Micro Orchard

Micro Orchard

The Long View

The Long View

Reading the Fine Print

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.”
“Excellent pollenizer”
“…some tartness near the skin.”
“Tangy when firm-ripe, sweetest when soft-ripe.”
“Reliable, heavy-bearing tree.”

Blooming Apricot

Blenheim Apricot: Dave Wilson Nursery

July Elberta Peach Bloom

July Elberta Peach

Santa Rosa Plum Bloom

Santa Rosa Plum Bloom

Fantasia Nectarine Bloom

Fantasia Nectarine

Ah, fertility!

We purchased our Fruit Cocktail at Almaden Valley Nursery (thanks Doug!)
Wholesaler: Dave Wilson Nursery