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Apricot blossoms!

One of the biggest attractions of our garden is the old apricot tree in the backyard. Our neighborhood used to be part of one the (formerly) many apricot orchards in the Santa Clara Valley. This thirty-plus (forty-plus?) year old tree is one the few sad, beautiful reminders of that era.

apricot blossom, March 2007

The Blenheim apricot has a brief blossoming period. This year I noticed the first buds opening a week ago. Last Saturday, about 80% to 85% were open. Today, I think it’s around 90%.

Like the blossoms, the fruits seem to come all at once. By early June or thereabouts, we’ve got a couple of weeks, maybe a scant month, if we’re lucky, to gather as many of the aromatic, tangy, sweet fuzzy jewels as possible. Many do fall, rotting, food for birds, slugs and insects (not to mention sticky shoe accessories). Yet many happily end up as jam, chutney, compotes, tarts, so many snacks and meals. I’ve yet to experience a better tasting, more versatile apricot. Moorparks have a longer season, and Turkish ones are imported year round. Neither have Blenheim’s personality.

2006 was a bad year: rains occurred for a week or two after the blossoms had opened. I don’t know if the showers deterred the pollinators, or simply washed a away the buds, pollinated or otherwise. The end result was no apricots, not even one to eat out of hand. There were a few at the very top of the tree, but those became a snack for wondering birds. That was the first year we had a zero crop. I hope we get a nice yield this year: No rain in sight for at least a week. There were only one or two bees last Saturday, but I think I see interest growing daily from the Apidae community.

2 comments

  1. Anita wrote:

    Our adolescent plum tree (same genus, no?) is about 90% blooms now. It’s taken almost a month for them to all come in. The tree is just over a year old (and has only been in the ground for a 11 months), so if we get any fruit at all, I’ll be happy.

    Monday, 12 March 2007 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  2. sairuh wrote:

    What kind of plum? I really like the flavor of plums, but I find the skins too sour.

    My blooming estimate was prolly a bit low: Today I noticed petals already falling, so likely 95-100% bloomed by late yesterday. The unopened buds are leaf buds, which are now opening. This might sound pedantic, but I want to note it for my own future gardening reference. 😀

    Tuesday, 13 March 2007 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

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