Apple Tree Days

comments: 52


Last year at this time, we were just back from one of the best vacations in my whole entire life, our trip to Victoria, British Columbia. Remember that? Wasn't it awesome? If you haven't been there, you can come along with us again now: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, and Day Four. And Day Five. That was just such a nice trip in so many different ways. I took the picture above at Butchart Gardens, and we talked about getting an apple tree for our own back yard, and we are going to try to do that this weekend. I think I would like a dwarf apple tree with red apples instead of yellow. It will go back in the corner by the garage and the fence and the hammock. If you have any recommendations, let me know. I am pretty excited about having an apple tree. I don't know if any of our neighbors have one that is close enough to polinate or anything like that. I want to plant lillies of the valley and daffodils under it, since those seem like two of the best parts of having an apple tree.

A scene from the movie Bright Star

I was thinking about our trip to Victoria yesterday, too, because there was that day (Day Two) that reminded me so much of walking across Hampstead Heath when I was 21, and going to John Keats' house, and on to Highgate Cemetery by myself; the weather was the same, the wet, red leaves and foggy, dull light. We went to see Bright Star yesterday afternoon, mostly because that day in London is one of those strange days that is just stuck so resolutely in my memory, and in my memory of myself, and I think of it at this time every year, and feel like I have to do something about it. Actually, I don't "think" of it as much as it feels like it visits me, like a spirit: London in November, the smell of frying onions and wool coats, the sound of my steps. Bright Star the movie had the same feel and colors, quiet, patient colors: blues and grays and greens and darks and pearly lights. And, oh, for Fanny's wardrobe! Anyway, I won't talk about it too much, but I loved it, 'cause I love all that stuff. I'm going back to see it again with my friend Aimee because this time I'll just watch for the details. They played some previews for more movies that I really want to catch, including Coco Before Chanel, The Young Victoria, and Life is Precious, which has the most moving trailer I've ever seen.

Thank you SO much for all of the nice and super encouraging things you said about the painting. I busted out laughing at some of the comments, too. It's been such a fun week painting, mostly because it's something so different from the things I usually do, and it feel so good to break out of my old routine sometimes. I have four more paintings planned (I know, I am crazed) and last night I got a bee in my bonnet to learn how to make some 







See, I bet you didn't think I was going to say that, did you. That's how we roll here at Posie Gets Cozy, though.


Go to the Cornell University website, as their horticulture dept. is known for apple expertise! I know that they had (still have?) huge orchards of zillions of kinds of apples. Also, I think that you could get a tree with grafts for more than one type of apple on the tree. (Just for a fun thought.) Try your Agri. Extension Service for the best varieties for your area, so your thumb can stay as green as possible and you won't have Black Thumb Remorse!!! Does Oregon have any great Horticulture Depts. at their Universities? I'm just someone who enjoys gathering info. Sometimes sorting all the info for making the decision is half the fun for me! I grew up with a Jonathan apple tree. If you want to cook with a lot of the apples, then consider a variety that would be good for that, or you'll have a lot of just plain apple munching to do! Have fun!

Oh, the Heath! I lived across it last summer and tramped every inch!! And Highgate has to be a most magical cemetery. Check out Her Fearful Symetry (how the frig is that spelled??) from the library because it takes place in a flat near it!!

I live in Victoria, BC! How excited was I to read this post? So excited!

I love the way you live on the edge!

Regarding apple trees, you don't have to worry about another tree nearby, there are self-pollinating trees. Check with your nursery. Good luck!

I was just gonna tell you what Tina says. We have 2 trees and one is a self pollinator and the other needs the first tree. I just can't remember which is which. IF a Winesap can exist on its own (one of ours is a winesap) they are a nice tart apple. I planted this one especially for PIES! I also don't know if there are dwarf varieties or not. So, I basically just blabbed alot of worthless info and you will still need to check with a good local nursery, BUT, you will love having that tree!
p.s. we also planted a sour cherry tree for PIE. Can you tell I like pie?

We are planning on planting some fruit trees soon as well, and strongly considering dwarf varieties. Let us know what you decide. Oh, and that movie looks brilliant.

You probably already know of Mary Azarian, a woodcut artist and illustrator. Her work is incredible. I have tried woodcuts and had an even deeper appreciation for her work after working on my own. Can't wait to see what you come up with and what your favorite tools are.

Apples - Braeburn are good baking and eating apples. But I don't know if they come in a dwarf variety. Jonathan apple are my favorite. I think it's because we have them in our stores once a year and only for a limited time. They always remind me of the beginning of grade school when we took one to our teacher.

I went to Bright Star. It was great! During the movie I kept thinking that Alicia would love this movie! I am happy that you loved the movie! I knew you would! I am one of your many fans!

If you're interested in block printing you might want to start out with lino blocks first. They're easier to find and much easier to handle (no trying to cut a smooth line across the grain!)

Sharon Stanley says: October 23, 2009 at 02:18 PM

How fun to plant an apple tree...Honey Crisp apples are so tasty...I have heard about Bright Star and hope to see it soon...did you love love love it? can't wait to see more painting and there's a surprise! I am still back on the those. Also some bean bags...hmmmmm remember those frogs of long ago?

I want to see Bright Star so bad, but it's not playing near me. The Young Victoria was AMAZING. I loved it!

mlle paradis says: October 23, 2009 at 02:37 PM

Alicia you're a joy and a pleasure to read. Keep having fun and telling us all about it.

Brace yourself for randomness: Your mention of being at John Keats' house made me think of a poem that some member of the Glass family in one of J.D. Salinger's books (can't remember exactly which story it's from), but I always remember the poem that tried to keep him warm and healthy:

John Keats,
John Keats,
Please put a scarf on.

I second the idea of doing lino prints first before attempting woodcuts, you can get a very similar effect but it is easier so better to learn on. I think you'll enjoy it though. Coco Before Chanel is gorgeous! Hope you have fun with all your plans x

If it's been a year since you came to Victoria, then it's been a year since I started reading your blog! A friend sent me the link because I live in Victoria...those posts made me happy to live here, even though I lust after Portland on a daily basis...

I love that apple tree picture. We planted one in our yard in January, her name is Anna (she's an Anna apple tree, but to my girl, she's just Anna) she is still a baby. Its has been fun watching her grow. I want to have a tree like the one in the picture, but I don't know if they grow like that in AZ.

My husband and I made some woodcuts last year. We made some small animals for our kids to play with. They were wicked fun to make. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

check out territorial seed company. they are a local northwest company that specializes in plants for our special climate. also, look for a master gardner in your area. apple trees are great and can be kept small and short for easy picky. plus they are so pretty when in bloom.

I was just going to comment to recommend trying linoleum blocks if you are interested in woodcuts. But I see that others have beat me to it!
They are a much softer material, and give a much cleaner line, with a similar effect to woodblocks. And you will avoid the dreaded sore-wrist'itis. I wish I had started with lino before wood, and not vice versa...

However, this is not at all to discourage you from woodcuts! They are awesome, and I would love to see what you do! One of my favorite pieces of artwork I've done is a lino cut image from the Snow Queen :)

Sorry to dork out about art supplies... I try to keep it in check usually ;)

Mary Ann/Ca says: October 23, 2009 at 06:31 PM

And let me just echo lots of the posts here. Lino cuts are a great way to start, you get the same effect when printing but the cutting is so much easier to begin with...and then when you have a good handle on the technique, well off you'll go and surpass all of us!

oh, I really want to see this movie! It's been all over the blogosphere...

and I'm surprised you don't already have one! What about a cute little espaliered one? I see ones around here (Seattle) with four or five different types of apples grafted onto the trunk, each one on a different espaliered arm, it's very pretty!

I just went back and re-read the posts about your trip to Victoria -- ooooh, you should have gone to the afternoon tea at the Empress! It's so much more than tea cups and cucumber sandwiches (there's sherry or champagne if you want too, and oh! The yummies!). It's an "experience." A bloody expensive one, but worth it for a treat. My mom took me there for my 21st birthday (my parents live in Victoria, easily the best city in Canada) with my aunt, cousin and granny. We're screamingly of English background, so we adored it. And Murchies, you missed Murchies! (But you got Munro's Books, a key Victoria experience.) But even better than the Empress or Murchies for afternoon tea -- Point Ellice House. They let you play croquet on the lawn. It was owned by the same family for ages, and then handed over to a historical society. When you tour it, it feels like the family has gone out for a walk and you're wandering through their lovely old house full of lovely things and lovely gardens (which is, it must be pointed out, on Pleasant Street. I'm not kidding). I never quite had the nerve to check, but I'm willing to bet the original bloomers are in the drawers still ... Yup, you're going to have to go back to Victoria. Sorry for the epic gush, but I do love that place.

Oh I'm excited to see Bright Star, really, really loved Coco before Chanel.

I've been exploring your lovely Portland this week and having a great time, things you've written about here have been great pointers to some fun things to do - thank you

We live in the Willamette Valley and have a dwarf Liberty tree. This was the 2nd year for it, so we don't get a bunch of apples yet, but I love it! Liberties are really yummy and we've had good luck with it so far. The OSU hort dept is run by a woman who runs an organic apple orchard (La Mancha) and the dept in general is full of great advice if you need it. (My husband works in it.) good luck and enjoy!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.