We brought our apple tree home yesterday (thank you Doris and Dale at Rhubarb to Roses for not only the tree, but a couple free zucchini and a guided garden tour of their ever expanding gorgeous gardens).
After much deliberation we had decided to plant the tree in the backyard where a young rogue mountain ash has taken up residence. The ash had planted itself between another ash and our mayday tree, both of which are looking a little aged and perhaps slightly diseased.
Our plan was to take out the young mountain ash, plant the apple tree in its place and then a few years down the road take out the old mountain ash and the may day tree leaving the entire space for the apple tree.
That was the plan.
When we set the apple tree down by the young ash, we paused. The young ash had transformed itself from a slender stick in the spring to a a gorgeously shaped tree over the summer. Its vibrant green leaves were offset by large healthy clusters of bright orange berries that would be turning red in a few weeks. Its bark positively glowed in the evening sun.
How could we even think of removing it?
True, its young branches were already tickling the sides of both the old mountain ash and the may day tree, but maybe there was room for the three after all. The trio made a pretty windbreak and offered both us and our neighbours some privacy. As time goes on there may not be room for them all, but in the end it will be the rogue mountain ash that remains and not our new apple tree.
So now where to plant the new apple tree?
The gas line runs right where I wanted the tree to go originally, but Darcy thought it could look just as good if we planted it a few feet to the left.
I wasn’t convinced.
While I watched from the porch, Darcy went out to the front lawn, stood on the chosen spot, raised his arms above his head and swayed like a tree.
“Picture it,” he said.
Before I could reply, our neighbour burst out of his garage and exclaimed, “Are we doing ballet now?” and ran over beside Darcy, threw his arms above his head did a surprisingly graceful pirouette.
We have the greatest neighbours.
Apparently their daughter was up visiting, and as luck would have it, had looked out the window just in time to spot Darcy swaying around on our front lawn.
“I think your new neighbour might be a little crazy,” she suggested, pointing him out to her father.
Darcy assured him he could tell his daughter they didn’t have crazy neighbours.
He wasn’t doing ballet.
He was merely being a tree.
The multi-variety apple tree? Seventy-five dollars.
The tree and shrub fertilizer? Fifteen bucks.
The memory of an August evening when I stood on the front porch watching Darcy and the neighbour improvise their own rendition of the Tree Planters Ballet on our front lawn?
How could we not plant the tree there?
And besides, the spot is perfect.
And so is the tree.
Best of all nothing was sacrificed in the planting except, perhaps, a wee bit of dignity.