When we moved to our present home in 1977, my parents bought us two apple trees. Both were 'Red Delicious', a popular cultivar at the time and especially in our area, because of its resistance to cedar-apple rust. We planted them at the back of our property and it wasn't long before both trees were giving us apples in the fall.
Several years ago, the smaller of the two trees began to rot at the base and one day, Romie simply gave it a shove and that was the end of that.
A few years later, it seemed that the remaining tree was going to go the way of the first one, and we planned for a spring removal by planting four new trees around it. (Two 'Honeycrisp', one 'Idared', and one 'Gala'.) There would be plenty of room for the other trees to grow after we removed the ailing one. It had lived a good life for an apple tree and we were ready to move on.
But spring came and the tree leafed out and bloomed profusely so we put off removing it, thinking it had one more good crop in it. That was in 2010 and the tree is still with us, still producing. Part of it did die and we cut that large branch off, leaving a large enough stub for me to use as a pedestal, with the intentions of putting a blooming planter there - something that spilled out over the pot with viney lushness.
Before that happened though, I was walking through Molbak's in Woodinville, Wash., earlier this year and spied these:
Wheels began to turn in my head when I saw that large red apple, but I didn't know if I wanted to spend what it would cost to buy the apple and have it shipped home. I'd have to think about it.
Spring came and I thought about that big red apple again and I wanted it. I called Molbak's and guess what? They were no longer available. In fact, the manufacturer wasn't making them anymore. You snooze, you lose. But of course, that just made me want the apple all the more. I had plans for that big ball of shiny scarlet goodness.
I put out a plea on my Facebook page and as nearly always happens, someone came to my rescue. To make a long story short, my friend Karen Chapman (of Fine Foliage fame) used her landscape designer skills to locate one and before long, a big red apple was residing in our orchard.
Thank you, Karen. That apple makes me smile every time I see it, not only because I like how it looks, but because of how you went above and beyond to make it happen.