The wee hours of this morning were spent trawling fruit tree sites, when I was meant to be writing. But such is the way sometimes that distraction comes along turning us from our intended plans. And yet, in being distracted, future plans have been made.
How does your garden grow?
As first time owner of a large, restoration garden, there is always much to do, and plan. In fact the garden has received the majority of planning, and work, since moving in (versus, restoration house). And although I’m not someone I would classify as a ’gardener’, in that I know so very little and mostly wing it, there is still the recognition that gardens take some thought. After all, most of it takes time, years even, to grow.
I’m not really talking about the veg garden here – in general. Yes, there are aspects of the veg area that have and do require planning. The asparagus for certain, as one must wait a number of years before it can be harvested. So it was one of the first things planned and planted. Artichokes, too. And black currants.
There were already red and champagne currants, in situ, but the fragrance and depth of flavour of black currants is not to be rivalled. With all the above mentioned, once planted they will continue to produce each year, so hence the planning. The vegetable seeds we plant annually, require less thought. Just some planning on where to plant them this year.
But what about Fruit Trees?
And now I am thinking about fruit trees. And in doing so, must start with the duck enclosure. (But, of course.) Work has been going on this winter primarily in the enclosure, to help it on its planning path to become the secret garden. Now, picture a square. The left and top sides are stone. The right and bottom sides are walls of chicken wire mesh.
Chicken wire mesh is not unsightly in that it is hard to see, particularly from a distance. But my thought is everything should have two purposes. If possible. Primary, it’s essentially a wall, though not a very strong one. It has been planned from the beginning that fruit trees will be dotted along these mesh walls, with plans to espalier them along the mesh. This will help strengthen the wall, create shade in summer in the enclosure, and create digging predator barriers with their roots. Added bonus, fruit.
The mesh wall has wooden supports at meter/yard, give or take, distances. I am slowly, one a year, am planting a different type of fruit tree at every post. In place are already a fig and peach tree. So, I have been enjoying a morning trawling of other fruit tree types online, considering what is still needed.
Not everything works
An apple tree is de rigueur (a requirement), of course. It’s the finding of the right one though. There are so many varieties, but to my mind there is one that stands above the rest. The Ariane. You know when you bight in to that crispy juicy apple in autumn and it just screams ‘autumn apple’ flavour – that’s the Ariane.
I planted a kiwi last year, but it didn’t make it. A very dry summer, and as someone who is terrible at remembering to water consistently (yup, I am a too much or too little kind of gal) I half killed it. Then an early frost… well, you’re getting the picture, right? As mentioned, not really a vocational gardener. Though working on it.
Working with Mother Nature
This past year has given the opportunity to view, review and think. Our winters are very damp. Not always raining, just… damp. And our summers are very dry. Very, very dry. So whether manual or automatic, there needs to be a watering system.
I tried my hand at ‘cuttings’ this past year, too. That is I cut a couple branches off my neighbours cherry tree. Then I stuck them in the ground. No, I did not have any root powder (do now), rather it was more of a let’s see what happens, nothing to lose plan. The branches went the way of a brittle death.
Choices, choices, choices
And hence, my trawling of fruit trees online. I came across flat peaches. We discovered them when living in Spain. Oh my, they are good. Seriously good. Therefore, to my mind, a must try in our garden. I know peaches aren’t as hardy as other fruit trees, so they are on the future list.
Almonds and olives too are on the future list. They require a little less taking care of, but I prefer to buy them in a slightly larger / older size, which is more of an investment. I’m not yet sure if an olive tree can be espaliered, so placement may be need some thought and planning.
What started all this online trawling this morning was watching a video on sweet chestnuts (view below). And now added to the list. But like the olive tree, I don’t know whether it can be espaliered. I do know they can also get very large. More research and planning needed.
Addendum. Just back from a walk with Chewie, and we happened to walk past a sloes tree. In consideration of this mornings musings, you know I had to do it. But this time, I had root powder. Fingers are crossed it will send down roots.
Gardener Gifts from Our Shop
If you are a gardener yourself, or know someone who is, I offer up gardening orientated gifts in my Shop. Here’s a taste…
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