Today we’re visiting with Jocelyn Spicer in Washougal, Washington.
I enjoy checking the GPOD every day or two for inspiration. I’ve been gardening on and off for decades, but this is the first year it’s really come into full focus, and it has been unbelievably challenging and unbelievably fun. I garden on half an acre in town. I began in 2019 with several garden projects in mind, but first among them was grafting apple trees. In February, my husband and I drove through a break in the snowy weather to my brother’s house in Vancouver, Washington, where we took the cuttings from a King apple tree my father had planted back in the 1980s. We don’t really know which variety of King it is, and I am still learning about apple trees generally. We popped the cuttings into a plastic bag with moist paper towels wrapped around them, took them home, and tucked them into the beverage fridge next to a bottle of neighborly sangria. A few weeks later, my brother, my niece, and I got together and grafted 15 trees onto various rootstock. Lo and behold, 11 of them actually worked! It was all very exciting. My brother took some of them home to his garden, and I plan on growing most of mine in containers (they are grafted on mini dwarf root stock). I potted them up in a soil mix of equal parts vermiculite, peat moss, and compost. This seemed to retain the moisture well. It was so successful that I may graft more in the new year.
We also have a sunny back orchard area already filled with seven young semi-dwarf apple trees of various kinds, two of them now old enough to produce a good amount of fruit.
One of the newly grafted apple trees all leafed out
‘Chehalis’ apple blossoms in the orchard from last spring
A view of the back orchard, looking west
The opposite view in the orchard, looking east through some new Rudbeckia in bloom
A loaded branch of Honeycrisp apples from this fall
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