I would like to plant a cherry tree that does not need pollinators, what do you recommend in a seaside town like Syracuse, in Sicily? After how many years does it bear fruit?
Thanks, see you soon.
Dear Laura, first of all thank you for writing to us. The cherry, a plant of Asian origin but present in Europe for many centuries, has several self-pollinating varieties and is essentially divided into two types of plants: duracine and tenerine. Duracins are large plants (reaching 15-20 meters in height) that have hard fruit and slow growth. The tenerine are smaller, with softer fruits with softer pulp.
In your specific case, you need to understand if you are looking for a duracina or a tenerina to identify the cherry variety that best suits your area. The most common varieties are the following: Durone Nero di Vignola, Lapins, Ferrovia, Bigareau Burlat.
Able to color and make the garden beautiful, especially during the flowering period when it is filled with white flowers, the cherry is an easy tree to grow and can easily adapt to different temperatures. In fact, it is also cultivated in particularly cold areas such as Norway and Sweden.
Belonging to the Rosaceae family, the cherry tree is a very long-lived tree and can even reach a height of 30 meters. In addition to space, it also requires a lot of light, reasons that make it impossible to grow in pots.
In particular, two different species are distinguished: the Prunus Avium which produces white flowers and sweet red fruits, cherries and the Prunus Cerasus which instead produces larger fruits with a darker color, black cherries or sour cherries.
So let's see step by step, how to grow the cherry tree :
The choice is yours whether to start the cultivation of the cherry tree by purchasing the already developed shrub in a nursery or whether to try with the stones: in the latter case, bury a few dozen cherry stones in the ground. It will be necessary to wait several months to see if the technique will have worked. In the meantime, water the soil often, especially during the warmer months.
If, on the other hand, you decide to proceed with cultivation starting from the shrub, the ideal month for transplanting the plant is November. Secure the tree with wire to some support poles so that it can grow and develop optimally. After planting, water the soil abundantly. If you decide to grow more plants, consider a certain distance between one and the other.
Pay attention to the area where you decide to grow the shrub: it must be quite sunny and sheltered from the wind.
It is important that the soil is well fertilized in order to ensure the right nourishment for the plant. A few weeks before planting the plant, remember to move the soil in order to soften it.
The plant does not like water stagnation therefore water regularly but without exaggeration.
The cherry tree does not need much care and pruning is also not extremely necessary. Just eliminate the dead and damaged branches.
The cherry harvest takes place a few years after placing the tree in the dwellings: the fruits are harvested in summer, in the period between mid-May and mid-July.
The cherry garden was inspired by some of Chekhov's personal experiences. The mother (who was sixteen at the time) found herself buried in debt after being swindled by some builders hired to erect a modest house. A previous tenant, Gavriìl Selivànov, offered to help her financially, but secretly bought the house for himself. Around the same time, his childhood home in Taganrog was sold to pay off the mortgage. These financial and domestic events (which are also found in the play) were imprinted in his memory.
He later lived on a property outside Moscow, developed an interest in gardening, and planted his own cherry blossom garden. Due to poor health he had to move to Yalta. He was shocked to learn that the new owner of the estate outside Moscow had cut down much of the cherry garden. During a trip to Taganrog and the places of his childhood, he sadly discovered the devastating effects of industrial logging and was further shaken by it.
It was in the woods and forests of Ukraine, where he spent his childhood holidays, that the passion for ecology matured (a passion reflected in one of the first works, Uncle Vanya, in the character of Dr. Astrov). On the property of family friends, with whom Chekhov spent his holidays, a beautiful cherry garden was cultivated and in one of his first short stories, The Steppe, the author described the story of a boy crossing the Ukraine between fields of cherry blossoms. Finally, the first hints of the genesis of the piece that would have been his last release in a note of 1897: "Giardino dei Ciliegi". Today, Chekhov's garden in Yalta survives next to the Cherry Garden as a monument to a man whose feelings for trees equaled those for the theater. Indeed, trees are often symbolic, unspoken heroes and victims in his stories and theatrical pieces to such an extent that Chekhov is often regarded as Europe's first ecological author.
Chekhov wrote The cherry garden over the course of several years, alternating periods of lightheartedness with moments of frustration and indolence. In this period the work was also slowed down by tuberculosis. Wary of nature, the author kept many aspects of the work hidden, including the title. Even in the summer of 1902 he had not communicated anything about his work either to his family or to the company of the Moscow Art Theater. It was only to comfort his wife Olga Knipper, who was recovering from a miscarriage, that he let the title of the work leak out. In October 1903 the play was finally sent to the company of the Art Theater. Three weeks later Chekhov arrived in Moscow where he attended the rehearsals.
Although the criticisms of the time were divided, the debut of The cherry garden, which took place on January 17, 1904, was a resounding success and the opera was immediately staged in the most important cities. Success was not limited only to Russia: it was applauded and appreciated abroad as well. Shortly after the play's debut, Chekhov left for Germany, due to deteriorating health, and died there in July 1904.
In the first staging at the Moscow Art Theater Lyuba was played by Chekhov's wife, Olga Knipper. On the occasion of the 300th performance of the opera at the Art Theater, in 1943, Knipper once again took on the role of Ranevskaja.
The first act opens early in the morning of a May day in the children's room of the old Ranevskaya property, in a Russian province in the early 20th century. After living for five years in Paris, Ljubov 'Andreevna Ranevskaja (Любовь Андреевна Раневская), known as Ljuba, returns home with her 17-year-old daughter Anja (Аня), with Šarlotta Ivanovna (Шарлантавская), with the German governess , a servant. The three are met by Varja (Варя), Ljuba's adopted daughter, who took care of the property in the absence of her mother, Ermolaj Alekseevič Lopachin (Ермолай Алексеевич Лопахин), merchant and friend of the family, Leonid Andreevičодичедичедичедичеведiev (рмаведичеваiev) , brother of Ljuba, and the servants of the house: Dunjaša (Дуняша), the housekeeper who acts like a lady of high society, Epichodov (Епиходов Семен Пантелеевич), clumsy accountant and aspiring husband of Фирс), who after the emancipation of the servants in 1861 had remained in service with the family.
Shortly after his arrival, Ljuba is informed that the property will be auctioned in August, to pay off the accumulated debts. Lopachin offers to help her, showing her his plan: to divide the garden into lots of plots to rent to summer vacationers. But the idea of his garden being destroyed does not please Ljuba who considers it a fundamental part of her life, a symbol of her youth and childhood. While Lyuba talks about the past and observes the beauty of her garden illuminated by the first light of dawn, Petr Sergeevič Trofimov (Петр Сергеевич Трофимов), a student who had, in the past, tutored Ranevskaya's son, Griša, meets her. At this point we are informed that the child drowned five years earlier and that this tragedy contributed to Ljuba's departure.
After almost everyone retires to sleep, Anja confesses to Varja that her mother is in debt and that her uncle, Gaiev, would like to send the young woman to Yaroslavl, to an old aunt who could lend them some money. Gaiev also points out to Varja that Lopachin is a wealthy man and that he is likely intent on marrying her, which could save the property. After talking, Varja, Anja and Gaiev go to sleep, hoping that the future will bring a solution to save the garden.
The second act opens onto a road that runs alongside the cherry garden. We are in the middle of the summer season. The property is still in danger, but the family doesn't seem to care. Jaša and Dunjaša play lovers, while Epichodov always hopes to marry the girl. Anja seems to have fallen in love with Trofimov, which infuriates Varja, who, for her part, is irritated by the rumors of her imminent marriage to Lopachin. The latter is the only one who tries to bring the discourse back to the affairs of the property, but Ljuba can only think about her relationship with a man from Paris, a lover who took advantage of his wealth, squandering his wealth and then abandoning it. .
Trofimov enters and Lopachin teases him about his condition "eternal student". Trofimov responds by exposing his thoughts on work and society. During the conversation a traveler appears on the street, who asks the company for some money. Ljuba, without thinking about it, gives him a large amount of money, which sends Varja into a rage. Disturbed and shaken by the newcomer, everyone prepares to go home for dinner, followed by Lopachin who continues to insist on the need to turn the garden into villas to pay off the debts.
Anja falls behind along with Trofimov. The young student is irritated by Varja's investigative manner, who does not understand, in his opinion, that the two young men are "above love". They talk about the new life that awaits them. From a distance the voice of Varja is heard looking for his sister. The two then run towards the river so as not to be found.
Several months have passed and the awaited moment of the party at Ljuba's house has arrived. An off-stage orchestra plays, while the family and their guests drink, chat and have fun. It is also the day of the auction. Gaiev received a small sum of money from Yaroslavl's aunt, not enough to pay off the debts, and the family members, in contrast to the cheerful air around them, are anxiously waiting.
Varja worries about how the musicians will be able to pay and scolds everyone: Trofimov for drinking too much, Dunjaša for dancing like a guest, Epichodov for playing billiards. Šarlotta entertains guests with sleight of hand. Lyuba scolds Trofimov for making fun of Varja by calling her "Madame Lopachin" and she insists with her adopted daughter to get busy to marry the merchant, but Varja says it is the man's job to make the proposal. And he adds that if he had money, he would run away as far from him as possible.
Left alone with Lyuba, Trofimov tries to make her understand that the garden will actually be sold, and insists that the woman becomes aware of her new condition. Lyuba shows Trofimov a telegram from Paris, which informs her that her old lover is ill and asks her to return to him and forgive him for the betrayal. Ljuba admits that she would like to join him. The young man is upset by the woman's decision, he tries to convince her not to commit what according to his point of view would be a huge mistake. The two clash and discuss the subject, bringing to light two profoundly different conceptions of love. Trofimov, wounded by the woman's words, runs away and in haste falls down the stairs, amusing the others who take him back to the hall. Ljuba calms down and the two reconcile.
Suddenly Anja enters with the news that the cherry garden has been sold. Enter Lopachin and Gaiev, both tired from the journey and from the long day. Gaiev appears bewildered and is escorted to bed without saying a word about the auction. When asked by Ljuba who bought the property, Lopachin reveals that it was him. Varja is furious after throwing the keys to the property at the merchant's feet. Lopachin, drunk, tells about the auction. His monologue reveals that it is not so much joy, but anger that has guided his actions. Lopachin is both elated for having succeeded in appropriating the property where his father had been a servant, and sad and angry at the suffering caused in Lyuba and the end of everything. Ljuba, desperate, is consoled by Anja, who encourages her mother by telling her that this is the beginning of a new life.
A few weeks after the action he moves back to the children's room, as in the first act, but this time the furniture is covered with sheets and preparations for departure are in full swing. Lopachin arrives with champagne to greet the family, but Ljuba and Gaiev do not accept the gift. Despite the sincere affection that the merchant feels for them, the two see him as the figure who has destroyed their childhood memories and their happiness.
Left alone on stage, Lopachin is joined by Trofimov, in search of his calosce. The two greet each other, embarrassed, talking about their point of view about life and the world, revealing an affinity in their apparently opposite conceptions, they admit that they love each other and have a certain esteem for each other. Ax blows are heard outside, and Anja enters saying that her mother would like the garden to remain intact until they leave. Lopachin apologizes and runs outside to order his workers to stop. Anja asks about Firs' health, and Jaša informs her that the old servant has been taken to the hospital. Dunjaša enters and throws himself into the arms of the lackey, who is also leaving for Paris. The man, however, makes her understand that he does not return her love and in a bad way pushes her away. Šarlotta also enters, lost, and asks the family to find a place for her.
Gaiev and Lyuba enter the room to bid farewell to their childhood home. Gaiev announces that he has found a job in a bank and Lyuba reveals her firm intention to return to Paris to her old lover. He asks Lopachin to propose himself to Varja. The man declares himself ready and everyone leaves. When Varja enters knowing that the moment of the proposal has come, he starts talking to Lopachin, but both are embarrassed and the conversation revolves around trivial topics such as time. When one of the workers calls Lopachin, the man hurries out without being able to make the proposal to Varja. The girl is desperate and Ljuba tries to console her.
Slowly they all return to the scene, ready to go. One by one they go away giving their last farewell to the house and the cherry garden. Those without hope, like Varja and Šarlotta, those ready to live a new life, like Trofimov and Anja. Gaiev and Lyuba are left alone in their childhood room. Crying, they hug and greet their old world forever. When they leave, the sound of the door being locked for the last time is heard.
The scene is now empty. There is the sound of a door being opened, and Firs enters coughing. The old servant discovers that he has been left on the property, alone, to die. He lies down on an armchair and indulges in his fate, while offstage the first shots are heard that will tear down the cherry garden.
One of the main themes of the drama is the effect that social changes have on people. The emancipation of the serfs of February 19, 1861, implemented by Alexander II, allowed the former serfs to gain a certain wealth and a status social, while some aristocrats suffered a notable impoverishment, unable to manage their properties without the help, practically free, of the servants. The effects of this reform were still strongly felt in Chekhov's time, although forty years had passed.
Chekhov had thought of the opera as a comedy and in his letters he called it a farce. When he saw the performance of the Art Theater directed by K. S. Stanislavskij and Vladimir Nemirovič-Dančenko, he was very upset by the discovery that the two directors had turned his work into a tragedy.
The inability to really deal with the problem of property, which was evident in Lyuba, but also shared by the other members of the family, an inability that will lead to the loss of everything, can be read as a criticism of all those people who did not want to adapt to the new Russia. Ljuba's refusal to accept the truth about her past, both in life and in love, makes her one of the most interesting and structured theatrical characters in modern and contemporary dramaturgy. Lyuba is a woman who sacrifices everything she has, her past, her youth, her possessions and even her family, for love (the name Lyubov ', perhaps not surprisingly, in Russian means "love").
Trofimov's speeches on social change, intellectuals and workers were later seen as an early manifestation of later Bolshevik ideas, and his jokes were often censored by Tsarist officials.
Cherry trees are often used as a symbol of sadness and regret for the end of certain situations and the passage of time in general.
In 1968 it was broadcast on the national channel Rai in the form of television prose, directed by Mario Ferrero, with actors of the caliber of Andreina Pagnani, Tino Carraro, Gastone Moschin, Mario Carotenuto, Franco Sportelli and Anna Miserocchi. The sets and furnishings were by Lucio Lucentini, the original music was by Roman Vlad.
In Italy one of the major staging of the opera was that of Giorgio Strehler in the spring of 1974,  then resumed in subsequent seasons until 1977. Among the actors, Valentina Cortese (Ljuba) and Gianni Santuccio (Gaiev), Franco Graziosi in the part of Lopachin, Giulia Lazzarini in that of Varja, Renzo Ricci as Firs and the absolute newcomer Monica Guerritore, then sixteen, to play Anja.
In 1987 the Trio made a theatrical parody (Fasten your seat belts), which was also broadcast on Rai Uno.
In 1981 Peter Brook staged an important and particular version of The garden, with Natasha Perry in the part of Lyuba and Michel Piccoli in the part of Gaiev.
In 1990 in the film Turné by the Neapolitan director Gabriele Salvatores the protagonists are actors of a theater company traveling to Italy to represent The Cherry Garden.
In 1992 Antonello Aglioti directed a film version with the same title.
In 1999 Michael Cacoyannis made a film version of the work with Charlotte Rampling as Ljuba and Alan Bates in the role of Gaiev.
In the movie The Good Shepherd - The shadow of power there is a small scene that takes place in the theater. The comedy that is being played is The Cherry Garden.
In the movie Henry's Crime in 2010 the theatrical representation that is the background to the whole story is The Cherry Orchard (The cherry garden).
In 2019 the director Alessandro Serra restores the scene, cut by Stanislavskij and Dančenko, of the nocturnal meeting between Firs and Šarlotta who talk about their childhoods. "A very powerful scene because it activates an opposite energetic pole: the childhood of the two aristocrats and the childhoods of the last ones, the forgotten ones." (Greenhouse)
The wild cherry, Prunus avium, family of Rosaceae, as the Latin name suggests, it is a tree dear to birds for its fruit, blackbirds and thrushes primarily, but not only these. The early flowering supports and nourishes bees and many other pollinating insects. Badgers, martens, foxes, stone martens and all the small rodents of the wood feed on the fruits that have fallen to the ground. And then fruit insects and wood beetles.
A tree with a strong personality
Like many other fruit plants, it is not native to our country, but to Asia Minor from which it was imported in prehistoric times. Having set up successfully today, it can be considered spontaneous both in the Mediterranean area and in central Europe.
It is found from the plain, where it is mostly sporadic, up to an altitude of 1,600 m. in not too humid woods, on well exposed slopes, and at the outer limit of the wooded vegetation.
Since the wild cherry tree is not very long-lived, it rarely exceeds a century of life, and reaches 25 meters in height. The trunk, if not trimmed, is straight, regular, slender, but powerful. The branches have an ascending posture, the crown is wide and pyramidal in shape. The bark, shiny in young subjects, becomes gray, then brown and finally reddish with characteristic natural debarking in transverse bands. Characteristic is also the marked aptitude of the cherry tree to produce resin with a rubbery consistency in correspondence with wounds.
The large simple ovoid-shaped leaves have a doubly toothed margin, the upper side slightly wrinkled to the touch, and tend to be pendulous.
The taproot root system is robust, very extensive and branched even in depth.
In the garden
The flowers of the wild cherry just precede the emission of the leaves that grow while these still persist on the branches. White in color, pedunculated, they are collected in number from two to eight sparse umbrellas that enhance the "cloud" visual effect.
Flowering is certainly the strong point of the wild cherry because it occurs very early when in the garden, most of the trees have not yet begun to vegetate. Its ideal location is at a point in the garden clearly visible from the windows of the house, when the season is still cold and the garden is still bare. A space, in any case, where it can continue to grow over time without having to undergo dimensional constraints.
It requires light, a few fertilizations are enough, it resists temperatures below zero, but not beyond - 10 ° C.
How to reproduce it
We can take advantage of the speed of growth and the ease of reproduction from seed to create our own wild cherry plant. The pulp of the fruit must be eliminated because it contains substances that inhibit germination. The seeds are taken from the ripe fruits and immediately placed in a light soil to be wet regularly so that it remains fresh and never too dry. Germination takes place in the following spring. For two years the young plant is bred in the seedbed, then a first transplant is done pending the final planting in the third or, better, the fourth year.
Alternatively, you can resort to the separation of root suckers or you can take, with a good clod of soil, the small plants born from the seeds in the vicinity of a well developed plant.
In the bathroom, everything focuses on elegance, preferring white coatings is surfaces smooth and bright, enhanced by a marble floor clear. For an even more chic effect, opt for a marble with gray-pink veins, able to illuminate the environment by creating a very refined contrast.
If you consider marble too much a choice for your tastes, opt for a masonry bathroom, enlivened by a few touches of light and bright color for the curtains and accessories.