When the Almonds flower you know spring is just around the corner, ok, maybe a couple of blocks away still.
The blossom lifts your spirits even when it is still cold and wintery. Today I spied the first blossom all on it’s lonesome
shining white like the first night time star, but the rest of the buds are fat and ready to burst.
CY 750 flowers first, always in July, 431 flowers later in August/September, timing its flowering after CY 750 has finished.
Prosaic names that belie their exquisite flowers.
I had always accepted that some years I would not get any nuts, but that was fine by me, the years I did, would be a bonus
and the beauty of the flowers would make up for any lack of a harvest. But I have been surprised at how well they have cropped. Almonds are in flower here, when there is a strong likeliehood of frosts, and almond flowers are frost tender. In fact one year, CY750 flowered with snow on the ground followed by several days of severe frosts , I was resigned to it being a no harvest year. Surprisingly, we had a bumper crop. I am not sure how or why that happened.
Almonds are native of north Africa and fruit most successfully where the climate is Mediterranean. If you can grow nectarines
or peaches, you can grow almonds. Almond varieties are categorised according to the strength of their shell, and how easy it
is to get the kernel out. Paper and soft shelled varieties are preferred in home gardens, although hard shelled varieties provide
greater protection from summer rain damage. For us in the valley summer rain is a bonus, the challenge for us, is providing
enough moisture for the nuts to form.
Shelling last seasons almonds by the fire is a good winter activity, as I sweep up the huge pile of shells and look at the
small mound of almonds I often wonder if it is worth it. However, the taste of fresh creamy almonds is very different from
Our almonds go into our Beekeepers muesli and Ricciarelli biscuits that guests love so much, and at Christmas panforte.
You may like to read: