Everywhere is still a little damp and the apple blossom is covered with rain drops. But in the garden, amongst the apple trees, I discovered something interesting. Let me explain …
In December, alongside our Christmas trees, we sell mistletoe that we buy from growers in Herefordshire or Worcestershire. For many years ago we’ve tried to grow our own. We’ve smeared berries on branches or pushed them into cracks in the bark to no avail. We’ve left berries on the ground or on trees in the hope that a bird might take them and deposit the seeds where they’ll germinate. Again, nothing has come of it although someone else may now have a grand crop of mistletoe.
In 2010 I was given an apple tree that was guaranteed to produce mistletoe. Yes, guaranteed. No doubt about it. Each branch had ribbons tied where the mistletoe had been set. We planted the tree and waited. And waited. The ribbons disappeared. We ate two apples from the tree last year and very nice they were too, but there was no sign of any mistletoe.
But then I spied a pair of tiny green leaves less than five millimetres long, with a distinct look of mistletoe about them
I’ve taken a photo just in case a bird comes along and pecks off the leaves or a woodlouse decides they’ll make a tasty snack. If you have trees laden with mistletoe and consider it to be no more than a parasitic nuisance then you’ll think I’m mad, but I think it’s quite exciting after all these years.