Saturday, October 13, 2007

That OTHER domestic pursuit

I can knit, and sew. I can even cook (nothing spectacular but I can follow a recipe and construct basic ideas on my own). However, I have a black thumb - in general, anything I try to grow, dies.

Amazingly, we have some trees here that have survived my neglect. An orange and a plum tree out the front that fruit quite well (the plum tree only fruits every two years, so I did think it was dead for a while because it didn't flower that spring), and a custard apple tree out the back. The custard apple tree is quite fantastic really, because APPARENTLY custard apples aren't supposed to grow very well here - they're a tropical fruit and we're not in a tropical climate (I forget what we are - Mediterranean maybe). They sell for about $5 each in the fruit markets, and we grow ones that are three times that size.

I honestly didn't water any of those trees for about three years after we moved here. The two out the front kind of self-mulched, I think (lots of fallen leaves and whatnot). The custard apple tree didn't fruit well until it started getting more water, but it survived.

Anyway, last spring my dad planted six more fruit trees for me, and re-did the reticulation round the back so I could actually water them. I kept them alive for a whole year!! Two of them have fruit this spring. We just re-mulched them this week, so here are some photos to prove I CAN garden ... with a little help. (Just don't mention the rest of the garden!!)

THe left tree is a peacharine (peach/nectarine hybrid), which I thought I had killed, but seems to be only partly dead. It didn't flower until a few weeks ago. The new growth is shooting out the sides, though, so I might have to train it.
The right tree is lemonade (a hybrid variety of lemon that's apparently quite sweet). I don't know about this one, it hasn't grown much, but it's not dead!
The custard apple tree is just to the right of the lemon tree, it's quite big (was already mature when we bought this place 5 years ago).

The left tree, right in the shadow (the tree it's in the shadow of is just some random mid-sized tree, doesn't seem to flower or fruit at all), is grapefruit, no fruit yet. The middle one is the nectarine - lots of fruit, but something is eating the fruit and it has some leaf-curl thing going on. The right is mandarin, again no fruit yet.

This one is a plum tree (not the established one), and it has three plums on it - hurray! I think this is the healthiest, nothing seems to be eating it.

Here are some nectarines:

Stupid macro function, it was supposed to focus on the front ones. Oh well.

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