She had bitten into the core of an apple she was eating and noticed two shoots emerging from seeds in the core. Responding to her immediate instincts, she saved the shoots with the seeds still connected to them and planted them in a small pot. The shoots were placed diametrically opposite each other towards the sides of the pot. The pot was placed on a shelf in front of the kitchen sink. The window in front of the sink provided plenty of light for the plant. After a short period of time and some TLC, the shoots began to grow further. But one of them became sick and had to be removed. The shoot that was left was now moved to the center of the pot. And it has continued to grow, with new leaves emerging and growing to their full size every now and then. I think this one will survive the pot.
But soon it will be time to move the plant to a bigger pot and also a different location because it will become too big for its current setting. Days, and even months, of suspense will probably follow as we try to make sure that the plant survives. And if we are successful and the plant grows to a reasonable size….
We would face the final test when we try to move the plant outdoors. This would be the most risky stage in my opinion, not because of the change in the conditions that the plant will now encounter, but mostly because of the danger of being eaten by the deer. You see, I have had to give up on having any kind of a garden with flowers and/or vegetables because the deer here are very aggressive and do not allow much to grow outside. You should see the state of our holly, evergreens, and azalea in Spring. It is a disaster, and it is exhausting to deal with the problem of the deer without much encouragement. The discussion point is always presented to me that the deer also need to survive. But not by eating my plants, I say!
Anyway, I do have my stories of success to also talk about. This includes three maple trees, a plum tree, a crape myrtle and a cherry tree. I have somehow managed to wage a solitary battle with the deer during the times when these trees were young saplings, and have lived long enough to see these grow into mature trees that provide shade and privacy, and which look particularly beautiful during the changes of seasons. It would be fair to say that the deer have played a significant part in shaping these trees since there was no way to completely prevent them from getting to the plants when they were small and more vulnerable. But now they are beyond the reach of the deer, and the ungrateful animals even rest in the shade of the trees that they tried to destroy not very long ago. More recent additions to our yard are the birch and the dogwood. I have a suspicion that the dogwood will not survive.
Which brings me back to the apple plant.
I am hoping that it will continue to grow.
It should grow to the point that it needs to be transplanted to a bigger pot.
It should grow to the point where it then needs to be transplanted outside the house.
It should grow to the point where it survives the battles I am going to wage on its behalf with the deer.
And it should finally grow to the point where perhaps some time in our old age we can get to enjoy the fruits from our own tree.
And don’t ask me what kind of apples to expect, because I have no clue!