May. 4th, 2015

emgrasso: (raptors logo)
I live on the edge of Boulder Open Space (not entirely sure whether it's county or city open space) and have no good water for irrigation, so I generally practice what I refer to as Darwinian Xeriscaping. I don't water, and what wants to grow and can survive, grows.

I have lots of different wild flowers growing in my yard, including yuccas and little prickly-pear cacti and wild roses and lots of different things with yellow flowers. I don't get the yard mowed more than once or twice a year because the wildflowers are so pretty. The grasses are pretty, too, if you let them grow enough to develop their seed-heads.

I also have a feral crabapple. I did not plant it, it just started growing several years ago -- a twig with leaves instead of the usual soft stuff. Now there are a bunch of slender trunks, some more than 10 feet tall and most with branches. I suspect the seeds were brought from one of my neighbors' trees by the birds or squirrels. The crabapple lasted through three or four years of moderate drought with no help from me. and two years ago it developed flowers and fruit on one branch for the first time.

I have been a little worried about it because a year and a half ago I had it moved about 12 feet farther into the yard. (Birds and squirrels don't understand about not planting trees too close to the house.) But it seems to have recovered well from the shock of the move -- the tree is showing flowers on most of its trunks and branches this year.

It will be interesting to see what the fruit looks like. Apples don't breed true from seed. The fruit two years ago was odd enough looking that I wasn't entirely sure they were apples (though obviously something in Rosaceae) and it is quite possible that not all of the stems in the cluster came from the same seed, so there may be differences in the fruit produced. I've been thinking that in a few years I may try to find a source for some grafts of edible fruit varieties and add those to the mix.

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