Happiness Is Just A Row Of Cherries And Plums

Three years ago, we planted year-old Montmorency Cherry trees, two of them. They produced six blooms between them the first spring, and four blooms last year. The trend was not promising. This year, though, right on time, I cannot begin to count the blooms. These two flower-full trees fill my head with visions of cherry pie and cherry soup, and fill my heart, period. Even though I am a dedicated non-gardener, the cherry trees thrill me. It's the promise of cherries, certainly, but it's also the ineffable majesty and magic of nature making splendid food right outside our urban window.

Young Montmorency cherry in bloom at Campsie Place.

Today The Gardener added four more trees-to-be to our space: one-year old dwarf plums that our beautiful neighbors at 4th Street Farm will help us "fan-train" onto an eventual wire support. Even the names of the plums make me happy: Shiro, Starking® Delicious™, Damson, and Methley. 

A row of four plums, a couple of them them visible as straight sticks, newly set out in the middle of lush irises, daffodils, and other flowers, as we continue our yard and garden's transition from mostly flowers to more food-bearing plants and trees.

In the smallest way, these promising "sticks" and their slightly older, much showier cherry cousins connect me more closely to all the growers who fret and pray and (if they are lucky) practice hearts-ease and non-attachment regarding their plantings. Kentucky springs are as famous for their cruelty as for their beauty. Fruit trees often suffer most.

As a result, Dana and Trudie Reed, precious friends and respected orchardists at Reed Valley Orchard have been much on my mind as night temperatures in town has dropped to the danger point the last two nights. It gets colder away from our downtown asphalt. On their behalf, and for all the treasured orchards in chilly Kentucky these nights, we wait and hope.