For the past several years I’ve had a gorgeous butterfly bush at the corner of the deck. It was a large plant that was covered in pretty white flowers, it attracted lots of butterflies, and apart from cutting it back in the spring and deadheading it in the summer it pretty much took care of itself. It wasn’t the star of my garden but it was a great reliable plant. Until this year…
I don’t know what happened, it just never came back this spring. I left it untouched hoping it was just late getting started, but by late July I gave up and started thinking about replacements.
I’ve always wanted an apple tree and this seemed like a perfect opportunity so I headed over to a local garden centre to have a look. Because it was so late in the season the selection wasn’t the greatest, but after poking around a bit I found just the thing. Meet my new 4-in-1 apple tree!
Apples need more than one variety in order to pollinate properly; if there’s only one apple tree in the area it won’t produce fruit properly. People with enough space can plant more than one tree, but some genius out there came up with the absolutely brilliant idea of grafting multiple varieties onto a single trunk. This means that people with limited space can plant one tree, and each main branch produces a different kind of apple!
It’s had a couple weeks to settle in to its new home but I don’t expect to see any real progress for a few years yet. In my experience with perennials they don’t actually do much the first year, the second year is when they start getting a feel for their new home, and the third year is when they really take off. I’m hoping for some pretty blossoms next spring but I don’t expect significant fruit production for several years. And just what kind of apples did I get? Well, there is:
- Yellow Transparent Apple at the back, closest to the deck
- Summer Red Apple on the right side
- Red MacIntosh Apple on the left side
- Yellow Delicious Apple in the centre (the one that’s growing straight up)
With all those yellow and red apples it’s sure to be a pretty autumn display in the coming years.