You just might remember when I introduced you to our home-sized orange grove (okay, it’s a tree in a pot). The tree, plus my lifelong connection to the world of oranges, were all thoroughly covered in my posting of June 19 of this year, cleverly titled “Orange Tree, Very Pretty.”
At the time, here’s what the orange tree on our front steps looked like:
I had bought it at a nursery in the spring, when the tree was covered with fragrant white flowers. By the time June had rolled around, the flowers were gone; the branches had been covered with tiny baby oranges; and then most of those had fallen off. However, six oranges remained in place, each about the size of a large walnut.
And here we are a mere four months later, and our little tree has managed to hang on to those six oranges — and raise them to virtual maturity. Here’s how the tree looked a few days ago:
Here’s a closer look at the tree, showing how the oranges are growing on the branches, and dragging them down with their weight:
If you look closely, you just might see that the orange at the centre and near the top of the photo is hanging on by a thread; it’s so heavy that it’s actually broken the branch on which it’s growing. And that was the orange that I decided to cut away from the tree, to see how it had matured and ripened. Here it is, on our kitchen counter:
The final test was to actually cut it open and then taste it, which is exactly what my wife and I did. Here’s how our home-grown orange looked when it was cut:
The verdict? Not bad at all. The orange segments were small (the total fruit was about the size of a small onion, not a big orange), but the pieces we ate were juicy — although a bit tart.
Frankly, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the five remaining oranges growing on the front steps. While daytime temperatures in Daglan have been pleasant, the weather is definitely cooling off, and I’m not sure how much more the oranges will ripen. Still, I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised that we got any fruit at all.
And now it’s time to turn my attention to the flower beds outside. Our marigolds performed brilliantly over the summer, but finally gave up the ghost and have been pulled up. This week I’ll freshen up the soil and plant some pansies. At least, that’s the plan so far.