Nopah Springs

More than seventy trees comprise the Nopah Springs orchard, most bearing fruit or nuts: peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, figs, cherries, pecan, and almonds. A few are ornamental, and some will be large shade trees. 

Poor Clarice: one of fifty oak trees ordered in support of the Arbor Society, with visions of a majestic entry to the farm. They expected the trees to be delivered in containers ready to plant. Instead, little suckling sticks were bundled together in what looked like a trash bag and shipped to the farm, with no notice, after Brad had left for the day. Finding no one there, the driver took them to the local post office, who ultimately sent them back to the Arbor Society, who called for a better address. Thus, having rattled around for a month in a plastic bag, those fifty oak saplings were pitiful. All were planted, but only Clarice lasted the first year. She’s about two feet tall and puts out about ten beautiful oak leaves. Brad and Cae wonder if she’s stunted, or if they were mistaken: what if the problem is an identity crisis and the name is actually Clarence? Or Chester?

All of the others are clearly belles.

Laverne is the lavender tree, sought each year by Monarch butterflies as they pass through on their migration. They light on her branches, resting and drinking up the juices from her flowers.

Norma is the fig, and Lillian, Madge and Anita are cherries.

 

Lucille, an almond tree, is young—about four-years-old, and in 2013 gave up about fifty fresh almonds for the first time.  Brad spent extra time with Lucille this past year, providing nutrients and T.L.C.  She showed off several hundred flowers that were pollinated, so expect a nice crop of fresh almonds.

Matilda and Ethel are new almond trees to keep Lucille company.

 

In 2013 Mildred produced about fifty sweet and juicy peaches.  In 2014, she had several hundred flowers that made their way thru pollination and are turning into fruit. 

 

Myrtle was the best producer in 2013.  She is about four years old and yielded over 100 sweet and juicy peaches last year.  Brad researched appropriate pruning methods and Myrtle’s hairstyle is now developing a nice bowl shape—she looks a bit like Moe of the Three Stooges. There were several hundred flowers this spring and the bees have done their job pollinating. 

 

Mildred and Myrtle recently welcomed peachy sisters Beatrice, Gladys, Alma, Zelma, Nettie, Harriett, Hazel, Audrey, and Edith.

The Anna apple tree at the very start of the driveway is named Annabelle. During the flowering season, she is the most beautiful, laden with light pink blossoms and bright green leaves. Last year, Annabelle had no pollinator tree nearby so she did not produce any fruit.  This year, supplemented with a row of Golden Delicious and additional Annas, she should produce a nice harvest.

Katie, Agnes, Stella, Priscilla, Bernice, Wilma, and Bernadine are some of her gal pals.

 

Not to be overlooked is a small park . . . just because. Pots, a horse trough, and old wheelbarrows are planted with flowers, on a grassy knoll, amid four trees. The apple is named Sylvia; Maxine is a pear. The other two are named after Cae’s grandmothers, both of whom were born and raised in Tennessee and tended their own flower and vegetable gardens nearly every year for all of their lives. Lerline  is a young Texas Fan and she will grow into a large beautiful shade tree.  Emmaline grows close to the ground, sporting beautiful yellow flowers and bright green leaves.

 

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