Saturday, March 24, 2012
The apricot tree was already full-grown when we moved into our Topanga home. That first summer, it was like an unexpected gift to have a tree full of fruit.
And aren't fresh apricots the rarest pleasure of all fruits? No green-tinged fuzzy round grocery-store rock approaches the succulence and tart rush of flavor as a ripe apricot plucked from the tree.
As the years went by, no crop ever approached the bounty of that first summer. I've read that apricots grown in warm climates sometimes have a 2-year pattern - one year a good harvest, one year a poor one. But the real reason is probably simpler than that - fruit trees need expert pruning and training to maximize yields. We have been neglectful gardeners. Last year, the apricot had less than a dozen fruits.
But this spring the tree has surprised me. The blossoms are more abundant than they've been in years. Was it that this winter was more dry, more cold? Was it something we did? Is the tree giving one last burst of fertility as it ages?
We'll take it as a gift - the promise of summer fruit that counts.