I know from experience that only a fool imagines a bed full of flowers when they see the first sign of seedlings germinating. To continue my use of proverbs, ‘there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip’ as well as the foolishness of counting chickens before they’re hatched. So it is sheer madness to expect anything from my cherries this year. I have two planted, a white and a red. The white is the old, ‘Bigarreau Napoleon’ and the dark red ‘Penny’. The idea is that ‘Penny’ will pollinate ‘Napeoleon’ but in this, the first year they have bloomed, that was not to be because ‘Penny’ did not open a bloom (there were only five) until after all ‘Napoleon’s (many) flowers were over. I need to check the name of ‘Penny’ because I was sure I had been careful and made sure she was self-fertile and would be a good pollinator but now it seems I may have ‘boobed’. I may need to plant another to overlap flowering time. There are some wild cherries nearby that I thought would be a safety net but they flowered later too. So I spent a few minutes every day picking a flower off an ornamental cherry and attempted to pollinate the Nap. I had no idea if this would work but I see that I do have two cherries set. But I need to ignore them now and not check them every day or I am sure there will be tears!
It has been a mad spring for fruit because April was beset with overnight frosts and cold winds and it looks like I will be getting very little fruit. There are no currants, not a single pear, from three trees, and no plums off the five plum trees. I am hoping that the milder, wet weather will allow the apples, now in bloom, to have a chance.
Also outside, the early strawberry flowers all had black centres, showing they were damaged by frost. In the polytunnel, spare plants that were planted in a bed in autumn, have grown and we have picked a few ripe fruits. But down the road the strawberry farm announced that they had the first strawberries for sale so we wandered down (just a ten minute walk) and treated ourselves to a coffee and a punnet (the biggest of the three sizes) to bring back. Surely summer cannot be far away.