Thursday, 8 August 2013
We took to the orchard with a chainsaw this winter, pruning back the plum tree hard in a bid to outwit the parrots with nets come summer. But I could not bring myself to touch the almond tree, although the birds left us not a single nut last summer. The first tree to blossom in the dark depths of winter, our graceful almond lifts my spirits every time I look out our bedroom window. The pink and white blooms flutter to the grass as I stare out across the trees to the far off glint of the blue grey inlet, bouncing Thea back to sleep in her hammock. Our tree is alive with bees and fairly hums with workers when you stand underneath on the blossomy carpet, gumboots squelching in the boggy turf after weeks of rain. Its branches are long and slender and reach up to the sky like a ballerina's arms. I stood undecided beneath its bare branches with the secateurs in my hands while Thea kicked on her blanket and the chickens scratched around us a month or so ago, then took a few branches off the smaller, younger tree instead. I will wrap that in netting once the nuts start to form and see if we manage to harvest any nuts come summer. But even if we don't I won't regret my naked blossoms for a moment.