Sunshine and the Miracle Tree

I don’t know about you, but I think “Sunshine and the Miracle Tree” would be a pretty good name for a rock band, certainly in the late 1960s or early ’70s. Perhaps not aujourd’hui, I’ll admit. A bit too Summer-of-Love-ish.

In any case, an imaginary rock band is not really the topic of this post. Rather, it’s about the fact that the Greater Daglan Area is now getting sunshine, and the fact that my wife and I have sort of a miracle tree on our front steps. (Now see how the title makes sense?)

Our tree is an orange tree, growing in a large ceramic pot. I first wrote about it early last summer, in “Orange Tree, Very Pretty,” posted on June 19, 2012. I had bought the tree at a nursery in Sarlat when it was flowering, and the luscious scent of the small white blooms added great atmosphere when we were coming or going through our front door.

I did a follow-up piece in the fall, when our tree had six actual oranges growing on it (“Orange Tree, Very Tasty,” on October 22, 2012). This was a bit of a miracle in itself, we thought, because we had never really expected that we’d get edible fruit from a small tree growing in a  planter. But we did, and here’s a photo of its fruit-bearing branches:

Oranges growing

How the oranges looked last October.

Eventually, we did harvest all the oranges. But as the weather got colder  last fall, we thought we’d better do something to protect our tree. Rather than wrapping it up, or creating an elaborate fogging mechanism (which the groves in Florida use), we decided to simply move it into our garage, which is on street-level, just below our salle à vivre. And so we did, along with two small olive trees that had been stationed at the front of our garage.

I’m positive that I watered the trees in the garage at least once over the winter, and it might have been twice. I do distinctly remember thinking that I should be watering them. But when spring arrived, the little olive trees looked and felt distinctly dead, while the orange tree looked to be, well, in a state of suspended animation. So I pitched out les oliviers and took the orange tree back up to our front steps, hoping that it would eventually show even the slightest sign of life.

There was nothing doing until a few days ago, when strange little growths began emerging from some of the tree’s branch tips. Were they small shoots, ready to become leaves? Or something other-worldly?

As it turns out, the miracle tree did its stuff, and seems to be alive and growing in the sunshine. Here it is, huddled next to our outdoor light for some extra warmth:

Our orange tree as it looked in yesterday's sunshine.

Our orange tree as it looked in yesterday’s sunshine.

And here’s a close-up of one of the branches, showing how the strange little shoots are really starting to turn into leaves:

Tender shoots are emerging, ready to grow into leaves.

Tender shoots are emerging, ready to grow into leaves.

Since we are already into May, I’m not really very hopeful that the tree will develop flowers. And without flowers, there can’t be fruit. At least I think there can’t.

Then again, this is a tree that survived winter in a cold garage, with barely a drop to drink. So maybe we’ll have another miracle — and it will grow small cartons of Tropicana orange juice. You just never know.

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This entry was posted in Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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