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New house coming along fine. More time for you lot.

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by adelady, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. We've been living here for exactly 6 weeks - but I still feel as though I'm on holiday. Being able to see the sea from the kitchen window is what does it I think. As well as the view being across the gigantic park on the other side of the back fence.
    As for the house ..... We've planted 4 of the umpty trees we ordered. Those are the 3 avocadoes in the soil and 1 cumquat in a pot. Still patiently waiting for their turn are ... deep breath .... nectarine, cherry, early white peach, late golden peach, blood plum, 3 pears, kiwifruit (male and female), 3 kinds of berries- loganberry, marionberry, blackberry thornless, yes! (+ another thing I've never heard of, jostaberry, already in its pot), jaboticaba, lemon, grapefruit - it's a bit late in the season so the other citrus were sold out - have to wait to be ordered in the next batch. That'll be 3 oranges, lemonade, blood orange, another cumquat - the sort you can eat skin and all straight off the tree. Maybe a Meyer lemon for a pot in the backyard. Ademan wants a mulberry and the daughters want us to plant a fig tree.
    We've got 2 whole wine barrels to cut into 4 large permanent pots for citrus and a couple of other things. Ademan rang up about ordering posts for trellis to espalier trees onto. His preference turned out to be nearly $100 per post !! So he's rethinking while he's chopping down and shredding some of the hideous oleander and other monstrosities to be replaced by fruit trees. The neighbour gives one of those knowing nods when she describes the previous owner as 'not much of a gardener'.
    But the strawberries already have beautiful babies growing. Soon have to cover them. The only real problem is that the garden will be wrapped up like mummies for half the year. The uncountable birds in the park will get all the fruit otherwise. At least we still have magpies, not outside the door as they were at the other house, but across the road murmuring to each other in the middle of the night. No kookaburras though.
    And snails!!!! Never, ever saw a snail at our other house. The various families of lizards kept the populations down to the invisible level. Might have to build one of those stone 'hotels' to encourage a few bluetongues or stumpies.
    Back to fig trees. I love figs, but I loathe the stinky, loathsome smell of the trees. Anyone know if that can be controlled?
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    You've been pretty busy then, adelady! Put me to shame! (although I freely use having a tiny baby in the house as an excuse).
    Glad to hear it's all coming along so well.
  3. Tiny babies ruin your life! Until you realise it's a whole new world.
    Make the most of it. Remember, the days might drag, but the months and years will fly.
  4. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    Fig trees:
    I love the smell of the tree
    Beware of wasps
  5. Good grief! They smell like cat spray to me.
    Wasps? Don't know if we've got them in this area. Have to check. (Though I know that some species of figs are only fertile if you have a particular kind of tiny, tiny wasp. Not the nasty ones.)
    Just went outside to set out the potato patch. Forgot I also have a dragonfruit and a pepino potted. The dragonfruit is just for fun. The pepino is mainly for MrA - he likes the taste of rockmelon but he absolutely detests cucumbers and the cucumbery taste you can get near the rind of sweet melons. Pepino is in the tomato family so melony taste but none of that cucumbery effect. And it's perennial, so no risk of late ripening reducing the crop. It's always able to get a good start to fruiting.
  6. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    We had a fig tree at our last house. It didn't have any particular smell, but they weren't the dark purple variety so maybe that makes a difference ?
    Agree with henriette that wasps are a plague with them (plus these freaky giant flying beetles we get that sound like helicopters, no kidding, they are HUGE!!)
    You're talking about spring planting, adelady, and I've just noticed the chestnuts are getting ready to fall on our trees, have picked nine just a few minutes ago.
  7. I've been thinking about that heat/dry thing. I reckon it might not smell so bad in a properly watered garden. The ones I remember being particularly offensive were all in odd places - obviously seeds from bird droppings.
    As for small gardens. Most of these are on dwarf rootstocks. The pears and most of the stone fruits are all going against the fence, so are the berries. The cherry will be 'Spanish bush' pruned - only a couple of metres across. The citrus are mostly expected to grow only to 2m by 2m - can't expect that height limit for a mandarin, a lemonade or the all year round lemon, but the grapefruit, tangelo and oranges can all be kept pretty well in check. The 3 avocadoes have been planted in a single 1m hole so the root competition should stop them streaking off to 9 or 10 metre giants before we can get to the pruning.
    And kiwifruit. The only option there is brutal annual pruning. Seeing as growing kiwis is much the same as growing zucchinis - you need a large circle of very tolerant neighbours and friends to deal with the abundance, glut, flood of produce - I doubt we'll do it much harm.

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