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Monday, October 3, 2016

A Sweet Gala Tribute

~Farmers market * Haltom City, TX
photo by suzanne * September 26, 2016

Hello dear readers! Here we are into October, with a few cool breezes gracing our city, and, all is buzzing in anticipation of Halloween! 

Well...don't look so skeptical!!!

Today, we're going to touch lightly on a subject I don't know a whole lot about!  The home where I grew up, in Kansas, had an adjacent lot, and there were 3 apple trees already growing and thriving on this lot when my family moved to the home.  Two of the trees produced green apples (I'm guessing Granny Smith), and one tree produced an apple that would turn red (don't know what it was).  So, I must say, I spent more time eating the apples, than trying to figure out what kind they were, or how to grow them, lol!

Right now, though, I'm going to focus on the Gala apple, which seems to have originated from New Zealand in the 1930's, with an Orchardist by the name of 'Kidd', who crossed the Golden Delicious apple with the Kidd's Orange Red.  This union made the Gala one of the most widely grown apple varieties in the world!  Gala apple is known for its sweet, pleasant, flavor, and, good keeping qualities.  It is said to be suitable to drier, warm climates, and, available year round from northern and southern hemisphere suppliers.  The tree is capable of reaching heights over 20', with a maximum spread of 22'.   And one tree can take over an entire yard if the conditions are right.  Gala was introduced into the United States around 1974, after a plant patent for the cultivar was obtained in October of that year.  This is interesting, as, I figured that we in the US always had Gala apples!!!  
"Gala is aromatic and juicy, great for slicing or sinking your teeth into raw!"
~Southern Living Magazine

Now, if you're about to purchase some Gala apples and, are wondering how old they are, the color is a good indicator.  If the apple is very pale, then it's probably from the new season crop and was picked early.  If the apple is very dark, possibly it has been in cold storage for a while, where it matured, or, was left on the tree longer in order to mature.

Gala apples keep well in cold storage.  Though the season only lasts 9 to 10 months, the Gala can be refrigerated for some months, making them available all year in some of the Australian markets.  In the UK, the season begins in August, and, storage makes the fruit available nearly all year long.

Moving right along!

Here are some useful pruning tips for young apple trees that I will be using myself.

These pruning tips are alphabetical & coincide with the drawing that follows:
A.  Suckers
B.  Stubs or broken branches
C.  Downward-growing branches
D.  Rubbing or criss-crossing branches
E.  Upward or interior branches
F.  Competing leaders
G.  Narrow crotches
H.  Whorls


Well, my gracious readers, we're about to come to a close on our Gala apples program.   I hope this information helps you with any future apples purchases.  And, I'll bet you're ready to devour one of those juicy fruits as we speak!  I can't just yet...I just had some dental work done, and, it's soup for me tonight! 

As I said earlier, "I don't know much at all about raising apple trees".  But I just so happen to have an apple tree in my front yard.  I hope that what I've learned through my research will aid in success of Karo's tree.  So far, so good!

  The story goes like this:
My husband Karo was eating a Gala apple one day, and, a seed fell out with a small root attached.  So Karo, planted it in a tiny pot.  It did start growing, and before long, it was planted in a coffee can.  He really didn't expect much from it, and eventually planted it in a larger pot, where it stayed for a little over a year.  He was so skeptical about the future of this tree, but, I finally convinced him to plant it in our yard.

~Apple tree * April 24, 2014
* photo by Suzanne

~ Apple Tree * September 10, 2016
photo by Suzanne

~Karo's apple tree * October 1, 2016
Scootie and Me * photo by Rusty

It's hard to see in the sun, but, the tree towers way above my head now.  The leaves will drop soon, and, then I will do some pruning as Winter's close nears.


I am dedicating this post to my husband Karo, who passed away in January this year.  I am so proud to watch this tree as it grows, and, I am looking forward to its first blooms.  I have to chuckle about it, because Karo was sure it wouldn't grow to be very large! 
He would be pleasantly surprised!   

* I will keep you informed of this tree's progress as time goes by.

and now, my thanks to:
Southern Living

And, my sincerest thanks to you, dear friends for stopping by to see what's happening at MyTexasGardens!   If you have time, step in and say hello!  I'm always glad to hear from you.

Prayers and best wishes for safety and well-being going out to the folks in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

Take care, love and laugh!  I will see you next time.

Oh...EEK!!!  Really?


  1. Hi, Suzanne!

    I saw your post late last night and wanted to sleep on it and comment in the morning when I am semi-rested.

    Thanks for sharing the history of Gala apples. I didn't realize they have only been in the U.S. since the mid 70s. Mrs. Shady and I regularly visit a nearby farmer's market and buy their Gala apples. We bought some the other day and are keeping them at room temperature in a bowl on the kitchen counter. I ate one yesterday at lunch time. I almost always have fresh fruit at the end of a meal rather than your typical desserts. I love Gala apples and everything you wrote about them is true. They are crisp, sweet, maintain their freshness a long time and their large size and beauty make them great subjects for still life paintings. I prefer Galas over any other type of apple.

    It is very touching to see the tree that Karo started from a seed a few years ago. He would indeed be pleasantly surprised to see the handsome tree now growing in your yard in his memory. I am very happy to see a good recent picture of you, one of my very best friends, and of Scootie.

    Thank you for the well wishes regarding hurricane Matthew. The latest forecast track and intensity data could be worse and it could be better. I'm not sure how much impact it will have on the Gulf coast if it stays off in the Atlantic but we are going to find out in the next two days. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

    Thank you very much for an entertaining and informative post, dear friend Suzanne. Have a great day and enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Good Morning Shady...if I wait too much longer, it will be lunch time. But my coffee breaks are never over, lol!

      I usually get the Honey Crisp or Pink Lady apples, because I love the color. A few years ago I started making apple pies for Karo, using these apples, as they cook up so nice. And, Karo, would only buy Gala apples to eat. Along the way, I've learned a lot, and I'm proud of his tree-as funny as it was to hear him complain about it! Sometimes that's what makes things thrive. I'll probably start buying Gala apples now!

      As you mentioned, I was surprised to learn that the US only acquired Galas in the 70's. During that time, you would only catch me eating 'Jonathan's' or 'Granny Smith' apples. It's good to know you can choose an apple over 'candy corn'! I eat applesauce daily now to keep away from the M & M's, lol, and, I try to stay farther away from the camera! It has been a few years since Scootie and I have taken a picture together.

      Thank you so much for coming by Shady, and for your nice comments. This is the apple time of the year, isn't it! Keep the rain slicker and boots handy, hope you won't need them! Have a great week! ♫

  2. Hello, thanks for the info on apples. My favorite is the honey crisp, I wish they were fresh year round. Your apple tree is awesome, a nice memory of your husband. Cute photo of you and Scootie! Have a happy day!

  3. Hi Eileen! Welcome to MyTexasGardens, I'm so glad you came by. I love Honey Crisp apples too, they make the best apple pies. And, I'm hoping I can keep this tree alive. Thank you for your kind comments, have a great weekend!

  4. Love ve that photos of you and Scooter. How they grow away, don't they?! Lordy Lordy!?? It's so lovely that Karo's apple tree hill is doing so well.. Very interesting post about the apples. I do like Gala apples, but my favourite has to be Pink Lady. Greetings to you my friend.

    1. Hi Diane, and welcome back! Glad you could come! I'm with you and prefer Pink Lady apples. They are so crisp and cook down very well. I wanted a photo of Scooter and me, because it's been a few years since we've taken one together, and he is getting taller by the day! Thank you so much for coming by-it's good to have you back! Have a great day!♥

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  5. Hello Dear Suzanne, having been away from blogging for a while I started to look back through your posts and was very sorry to read about Karo's passing. My heart went out to you.
    It was lovely to read about his apple tree - a beautiful photograph of you and Scooter in front of it too.
    We have an orchard with various old fashioned varieties of apples and we leave them on the tree as long as possible - so much nicer.
    Cheerio for now and I shall leave you with my warm good wishes, until later, Sue xx

    1. Good Morning Sue. Welcome back to blogging. I'm still dusting off my blogs that have been dormant for nearly two years. And, I'm glad to be back. After Karo passed away, it was hard for me to get going, but it sure has helped to send a post now and then. I have even put a couple of posts on Karo's blog, hoping to keep it active. And, I retired from work in May, so I have a bit more free time.
      I was so happy to see your post the other day, it is wonderful to see you again, and your paintings are really beautiful. Thank you for coming by, and for leaving kindness and warm wishes. See you soon, hugs to you! ♥


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