English Cottage Gardening – Plant An Apple Tree For Arbor Day

Johnny_Appleseed_1972_post_card

This Friday, April 26 is Arbor Day in the US. It’s a day when individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees.

Arbor Day originated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872 and an estimated one million trees were planted that day. Many countries now observe a similar holiday.

Planting trees is also very good for honey bees.

Did you know that trees provide most of the surplus nectar and pollen for bees?  Or that 5 or 6 trees produce as much nectar and pollen as a whole field of wildflowers?

Most people don’t.  That’s unfortunate because planting a tree, especially in an urban area, is one of the most effective things you can do to help save the bees.

So what kind of tree belongs in an English cottage garden? The only trees that can be said to be truly authentic to the cottage garden are fruit and nut trees. An added bonus is that bees love them!

The notion of planting a tree for shade would have been totally foreign to cottage gardeners. A tree was worthy of space in the garden only for what it could produce for the table. Most of these traditional trees weren’t large and were further pruned back to reduce their height for ease of harvest.

Cottage Garden with Apple Tree

Cottage Garden with Apple Tree

Apple trees were by far the most common type of tree found in a cottage garden. Cultivars which are especially suitable are Heyer #20, Parkland, and Rutherford.

So plant a tree and save a bee this Arbor Day!

A Morning Song (For Earth Day)

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day.

Deer Repellent 101

Yes, I know this is my second post on deer repellent today. I can’t help it. They nibbled the buds off my David Austin roses. I’m really angry. And it isn’t a good idea to make me mad.

So I’m mixing up a witch’s brew that will keep them away for weeks, if not the whole summer. This stuff is going to be brutal. It serves them right. It isn’t like they don’t have a whole forest of honeysuckle bushes to keep them fat and sassy.

I’m going to make a confession here.  I don’t use an exact formula. I use whatever I have hanging around the house that I know deer (and rabbits) hate.

To wit:

Hot sauce

Garlic (and/or anything else in the onion family)

Liquid dish detergent

Sour milk

Eggs, preferable rotten

Tonight’s Formula:

I have a quart of milk that’s been in my fridge since Christmas. I’ve been saving it for an emergency like this.

I bought two bottles of hot sauce because I knew this day was coming.

I have a jar of minced garlic and a half dozen eggs. Unfortunately they’re not rotten.

I’m mixing up the whole batch and for good measure, adding dish detergent and the remnants of a bottle of commercial deer repellent.

Then I’m going to let the whole mess fester until tomorrow morning when I administer my potion to my yard and the rest of the neighborhood.

Happy Earth Day, Deer!  This is what you get for eating my David Austin roses. I hope you enjoyed them.  It’s going to be honeysuckle bushes for you for the rest of the summer.