Yesterday, I hung the first of the finch feeders on the knobbed fork of the apple tree. When Mrs Bunney was alive she told us our tree, old already, provided apples for pies during the War.
Stooped now over the stone wall, conversing with a neighbouring Birch, this year laden lower than I’ve ever seen. The apples, clustered on every branch, glowing red and green in the soft September sun. Cookers, not Bramleys, anonymous, but with crisp white flesh which fluffs into rich, tangy mouthfuls. The fallers feed fieldfares, thrush, and redwings and provide footballs for the dog.
Up with the largest apples, quite out of reach, the arthritic limbs of the tree too brittle to climb, the mistletoe, hung in a huge glossy globe of Christmas kisses.
Sometime in the night my Autumn tree fell – no crash alerted us, it must have sunk to its knees and lain down on the grass with barely a creak.
I came out to see its branches embracing the wet grass, a huge hole in the earth where roots breathed in the morning air.
More than a hundred years of apples lie beneath. Nothing in the garden looks the same.