I think I finally got through to that plum tree. Call it tough love if you like; I may have raised my voice a bit. Let the lazy bunch of barren sticks know I was—shall we say, underwhelmed—with its performance to date. Not a single fruit, not even a lone blossom to let me know it was trying—nothing.
I expect more of my fruit trees. See that nectarine over there? I scolded the dormant plum. Fought off peach leaf curl all last year … and it still bloomed its heart out. Came through in the clutch, too, followed up with a dozen of the sweetest, juiciest nectarines we ever tasted. That's commitment. You could learn a thing or two. What's your excuse?
Maybe I was a little harsh, they're all young trees after all. But sometimes, as a gardener, when a plant disappoints you, you're forced to make that loving, calculated decision—for the good of the plant, after all—to don your stern disciplinary vest and quietly assert the conditions of its continued membership in the garden. In the plum's case, this went something like:
!(@#()*!@&# TREE!!! WHY CAN'T YOU MAKE @!*^& PLUMS!? IMA THROW YOU IN THAT @&#%^ FIRE PIT!!! AAAAAHHHH!!! HOW'D YOU LIKE TO BE COVERED IN BINDWEED!? SO HELP ME, I'LL *!@&#^ DO IT!!!
Firm, but I think fair. And spoken with love. Question my tactics all you like, but the results speak for themselves:
|The Plum, plumb scared|
That lazy fig tree is next.