About 5 years ago, I bought a half-dead-stick-in-a-bag from a bargain bucket outside Woolworths. Well, I say bought. When I took it up to the till, the cashier took pity on me, clearly thought I was mad for trying to buy a dead stick and gave it to me. The stick was supposed to be a peach tree. I felt it needed a chance to reach it's full peachy potential, so unceremoniously dug a hole in the garden, jammed it in and covered it over with soil. I may have emptied a child's watering can half-full of rainwater on to it as an after thought. That summer it sat there and sulked, as dead twigs like to do.
The following spring however, little leaf buds appeared, and even 1 or 2 pink blossoms. I was thrilled. Not so thrilled that I remembered to water it over the summer, but thrilled none the less. Autumn came and went. Winter, hard and frosty, came and went. The little peach stick did not like the frost, but valiantly grew a few leaves.
We arranged for my brother-in-law to do some major work on our garden later that spring. The little peach stick, not looking very promising, was yanked out by him and thrown on the bonfire pile. I rescued it a few days later when I realised it had gone and, well, you can basically refer back to the first paragraph for my planting technique.
The following spring, My Other Half decided to do some gardening. The little peach stick was yet again turfed out of the ground and onto the bonfire pile. A week later I found it and back in the soil it went. My gardening skills had improved by now and I threw some compost in its general direction.
Last spring there were real leaves, and some blossom, and some thin spindly branches grew in the late summer. Then a very hard winter followed, and I feared my little peach twig would really not survive 2 months of virtually solid frost.
But the little fighter, by now no doubt used to a life of hardship and bad gardeners, grew leaves, and lots of blossom. And then we had a very glorious and sunny May and June, and the blossoms turned into little furry green nobbles. Which got bigger. And I remembered to water it. And the sun carried on shining. And last week, this is how it looked.
And this is how they taste.
Now, I don't want to get all "dead-peach-stick as a metaphor for life" about it, but, well, you know.