It's a Bumbly Sort Of Day In The Garden.
Today all four apple trees are in full bloom in the garden and it's a wonderful sight. Our trees are all young, we've only had them in for a few years now. Last year we got a fair amount of fruit, but this year looks to be even better. We have two columnar trees--a red and a yellow. Also, we put in a Liberty and Akane last year. These are two varities that do best in our area and pollinate one another. And they are just plain beautiful trees with the prettiest red apples you ever saw. When they are loaded, they fairly glow in the garden.
We have problems with Apple Maggot here in the Pacific Northwest, as well as several other orchard pests, so keeping your fruit worm-free is tough. We had some damage last year, but we do not spray, rather we use the sticky traps to try to keep the flies to a minimum. I wasn't too unhappy with the results. I got plenty of nice apples, and plenty that were able to be trimmed and used for applesauce. We'll see what this year holds.
It's great to see the bees at work. You may have heard that there is a real problem with the honeybe population. They are dying in record numbers due to a mite infestation. Since they are the chief pollinators for our food crops, we now have to rely on other insects to do the heavy lifting. Bumblebees are great, and so is the lowly Mason bee. Setting up some Mason bee houses on your property is a good thing to do. They are simple and easy to make. We set two of them out last year and they are nearly full as of last week. The Mason bee (which looks rather like a common fly) is a tireless pollinator and should be encouraged in your garden.