My Auntie’s Garden – Part 10 – Fruit Trees

My aunt has a huge pear tree behind the house. She does not have very many pears though, because she has a lot of junipers in her garden, and junipers and pears in the same spot do not match – Gymnosporium sabinae abounds and is impossible to eradicate. But the tree still grows and blooms every spring.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Then there are several small apple trees. I love apple tree blossoms, they are my favorite. And when uploading these, I found out that FtB is broken, and deleting and replacing once uploaded wrong image with a different one of the same name does not work for whatever reason. FtB retains the old image even when I “delete permanently” it.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Then there is the one issue where I am far more successful than my aunt. And in part, it is due to the unfavorable climate. I live at a much higher elevation where the winter temperatures are very low. That is why my fig trees are in greenhouses, where they have a higher chance of surviving winter in good enough shape to bear fruit in the summer. In fact, these last two years I had several kg of late lower quality figs each October and at least a few dkg of fresh high-quality figs in the summer. This year looks extremely promising, my fig trees are covered in nearly golfball-sized green figs already, but my aunt is not so lucky. Her fig tree, although a clone of the same stock as mine (I am the one who obtained them from one university professor during my studies) does bear very little fruit and very inconsistently, and this year during my visit she only had a few bare twigs. When looking closer you can see that the tree almost every year freezes down to the roots and sprouts anew, something that happens to me once in a while too, but to my aunt, it happens more often. Because hers is outdoors and central Europe is just too cold even at its warmest.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

I forgot to ask whether she got any apricots from her young and tiny apricot tree yet. I have seen no sign of blooms or fruit this spring.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

And last not a tree but a bush – red currant that looks recently planted. We used to have many bushes around the garden, red and black currant. My grandfather made wine out of them, but my father was strongly recommended to not drink it after he passed a kidney stone. And passing a kidney stone is an unpleasant enough experience to not want to repeat it, so the winemaking stopped after my grandfather died. The bushes lingered on for a few years still, but then caught some disease and started dying off, so they were all dug up and our garden no longer has any currants in it. The same happened to our neighbour’s currants.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


  1. Jazzlet says

    It looks like your auntie has rhubarb under her fig bush. I was under the impression that it isnt common in continental Europe, maybe that is just forced rhubarb?

    We had a fig bush in Sheffield, it didn’t get cut back by the frost every year, but it didn’t fruit either. Sheffield does have figs that used to fruit along the Don, the river the steel and iron works took their cooling water and to which it was returned; that kept the water warm enough to nurture the figs.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    The flowers are lovely.

    Jazzlet @ 1

    As for rhubarb, I’m not sure if Fennoscandian Peninsula counts as continental Europe, but rhubarb (raparperi) is a common plant in Finnish gardens. We make not just pie but also kissel and juices from it (often together with strawberries for all three).

    As for forcing rhubarb, that’s completely new for me.

    Any way, your comment got me curious and I’d like to here from those who are from the more continental parts of continental Europe how it is?

  3. Tethys says

    Spring is my favorite season, especially when the various fruit trees and lilacs come into bloom and fill the air with perfume.

    Rhubarb has been cultivated for a few thousand years, but it seems to be native to the Black Sea region and north into Asia. Its a common garden plant here in North America. I’ve always had a patch of rhubarb in my various home gardens. It’s very cold hardy, and one of the first things that is ready to harvest. Strawberry rhubarb is a classic combination for jams and pies.
    It wouldn’t be spring without Rhubarb Crunch.

  4. says

    @Jazzlet, it is rhubarb. I was growing rhubarb in my garden too, but this year it did not come up. It probably did not survive winter for some unknown reason -- it was not a particularly bad winter and the plant has survived worse. It was, in fact, a weed that I was trying to eradicate, so I do not mind it finally going the way of the dodo. I do not like rhubarb pie that much, it is more work than worth as far as I am concerned.

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