I went today to collect two fruit trees from our local nursery, Blackmoor. Bare-root trees are arriving thick and fast from a range of suppliers at the moment and I had forgotten that these two trees would be particularly exciting ones. Not just another apple tree or anything ordinary like that. No! These are trees of unfamiliar and exotic fruits: an Asian plum called Lizzie, and a Pluot – a cross between a plum and an apricot.
When I collected the them, the slightly muddy, stick-like trees with their roots wrapped in a black plastic bad had on their labels the following descriptions:
Lizzie: A new Asian plum that has been bred in America. It’s medium-sized fruit are remarkably sweet and juicy – they’re almost candy-like and unlike any other plum we know.
Pluot Purple Candy: Pluots are a cross between a Plum and an Apricot with a Plum being the dominant cross. The fruit is as big as a peach and gets its taste rather on the side of apricot while its juicy texture comes from the plum. The variety takes its name from its dark skin, between purple and violet, and has very sweet flesh. These are large fruit with yellow flesh of excellent flavour.
How could I not be excited?! Sometimes I worry that I’m becoming addicted to browsing the catalogue descriptions, imagining tasting the fruits and wandering around the orchard. Is it possible that I love the process of selecting the varieties of tree more than the actual growing and eating of the fruit? It’s too soon to know since our entire crop this year was just one single apple – but I did derive a lot of pleasure form eating my quarter of that apple, so I think it may not be as bad as I fear.
I arrived home from Blackmoor to find a bundle of 26 trees from Keepers Nursery on the drive. Now for the planting…