Autumn: a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and there is no doubting 2014 will go down in the horticultural history books as a blooming marvellous year for everything that grows and/or bears fruit…unless you happen to be a little apple sapling whose fruit producing possibilities have been somewhat stymied due to the nomadic lifestyle of its owner.
What is more, adding insult to injury, the opposing face of autumn’s bounty is foliage depletion aka leaf fall and that is one thing our apple sapling has definitely managed to participate in great earnest. In fact, as with his teenaged owner, if anything he is a bit too willing to engage in this adult ritual of which his more mature neighbours are slightly less enthusiastic as they continue to put their energy into apple production.
There are some leaves that have fallen off his much bigger and older cousins, but not so you’d notice given their generous coat of leaves, but for our little fellow, the loss of just one leaf does have quite a dramatic effect on his appearance and he is now somewhat gangly and twig like.
Sadly, for those of you who have read my previous posts on our cultivated family member, you will recall he has the additional burden of a leaf mould that is clearly going to need attention next spring, so in a way, perhaps he is quite pleased to cast off his less than attractive foliage.
So you would think with his stunted growth, zero blossom to entice the pollinators, not even a pea sized apple and leaves that wore a grey fur coat for most of the summer, that he would be spared anymore molestation; but you’d be wrong.
For over the past four weeks I have noticed some rather large holes appearing, some from the edge moving inward but one gert big one bang smack in the middle of a leaf.
Well OK perhaps that is little dramatic, but some little beast has a voracious appetite for organic Royal Gala grown-from-seed apple sapling leaves.
All I can hope is that the furry mould that once coated the leaves and has now turned a bronze brown colour, will give the little perisher a sore tummy!
But when all’s said and done, our little apple sapling has made it through his first summer alongside the big boys rather than in his restrictive plant pot, and I am rather pleased to see a delicate new shoot has emerged.