This is the new Contender peach, outlined against the post hole digger, ready to be planted. There were a couple of Reliance peaches, planted a year ago in May. Now there’s one. The mice girdled them last winter, and one died. We ordered the Contender to replace it.
We thought we’d lost the other. Then a new shoot sprouted below the gnaw marks. It’s close to, but above the graft between the Reliance and the rootstock. These are dwarf trees, and the way that the nurseries dwarf them is to take a branch from the tree they want, and graft it to the roots of some small, decorative tree, an undistinguished crabapple, say, that grows to the size they want. If the new shoot were coming from the roots , we wouldn’t be interested, but it is coming out of the wood of the tree we want. I spent the summer looking at it and saying things like, “It looks like it’s coming out of the peach, but I don’t know.”
The tree was shipped potted and live. It came surrounded by polystyrene peanuts in a cardboard box. It was a relief to see the leaves and know the resurrected Reliance is really a peach. It was raining gently while I planted, but I gave the roots a good soaking with the hose, and mulched with cardboard and wood chips the next day.
Behind the tree and its Blackeyed Susan friends, are -- left to right -- rhubarb, asparagus planted with clover, basil, pole beans, the tops of the tomato stakes, carrots, hops, dinosaur kale, Beacon apple branches, compost, marigolds, shell beans, more compost. The hanging pot is a weed we originally thought was a strawberry, and let grow to see what would happen.