No, not New Zealanders. (Although their birth rates are reportedly lower than ever.) I’m talking about the hardy kiwis we planted seven years ago.
These delicate grape tomato-sized fruits are said to be reliable producers. Unlike their cousins commonly found in grocery stores, these have a soft edible skin and are delicate when ripe. Male and female versions of the plants must grow nearby, so we carefully bought four of each when we planted. Nothing for a few years — not a single blossom nor single fruit. So we dug in a few more, after being assured we’d bought male and female plants. Everything is growing nicely but still not a single flower.
What we have is a huge hand-built structure made to accommodate not-so-decorative vines that simply refuse to procreate.
So last Christmas, the grim Christmas of 2020 when we hadn’t seen our youngest family members for nine long miserable months of Covid-19 isolation, I said all I wanted as gifts were things to transform the arbor into a play structure. I knew it would help me hang on to hope that our weekly family Sundays would finally return.
Return they have!
Perfect use for our optimistically large arbor. And if those vines decide to produce, I know which little hands will be picking them.
Here’s wishing everything that doesn’t flower and fruit in your life might transform into a wholly different joy.