APPLE GROWERS are great gardeners. It stands to reason, as they have the skills and passion for growing things on a large scale in the orchard.
There are practical reasons, too. One is to attract pollinators, supplying them with a source of food throughout the growing season, well after the apples have blossomed in May. Some orchards set aside acreage for this purpose. Without a healthy population of bees, birds, and butterflies, there can be no crops.
Another reason is to attract customers. Flowers paired with apples, after all, make for striking combinations that are as seductive as nectar, adding to the orchard’s appeal.
In some cases, flowers and vegetables are an integral part of a diversified farm, supplementing its tree fruit.
The flowers may simply be a way to beautify the orchard for the people who live and work there.
Whatever the reasons, most growers just can’t help themselves. During the summer months, before the apples are ripe for picking, many find time to put their hands in the soil to create something as sensual and spectacular as the fruit to come.
Here are some examples from this and previous years.
TO LEARN MORE about how (and why) apples are pollinated during spring bloom, view this four-minute video: