THIS IS THE EVERYTHING-ELSE CATEGORY, A special collection of fruits that we couldn’t live without, yet couldn’t find a better way to organize. Apples, pears, figs, pomegranates, persimmons, and melons are some of our beloved tree and vine fruits that explode during the latter part of the year. These are what we also call our transition fruits, because they straddle the seasons of summer and fall.
During our garden’s first years, the pear and persimmon trees were quite a struggle to keep alive. Diseases and molds inhibited them from fruiting, always leaving sickly leaves and branches for us to use as study specimens. Keeping them healthy was always our primary goal, and if we were rewarded with fruit, we were beyond thrilled.
As we became more competent gardeners, the trees settled in. We protected their roots, became more consistent with watering, and fed the trees as if they were nursing mothers. We lost a couple of the weaker ones, but the lessons we learned helped us become better caretakers for the survivors. Now they reward us, and all our garden’s inhabitants, with their seasonal bounty.
The birds and squirrels in our garden would probably starve if it weren’t for our family of tree and vine fruits. But rather than thanking us for nurturing these trees, the squirrels will chatter fiercely at us if we interrupt their morning feast of sweet figs or plump persimmons, and they’ll scold Sierra and Lexi down below if the dogs are on fruit defense. From there, the squirrels will hop to the Asian pear trees to check on how ripe their fruits are for next week’s dinner. Every morning is an ongoing chase between dogs who wish they could fly and chubby squirrels and birds who feel empowered because they’re faster and smaller.
This battle for fruit between garden critters and dogs is constantly entertaining. And because of this, we don’t mind sharing our tree and vine fruits, to keep the squirrels and birds happy throughout the year as well as for our own personal laughs.