Sunshine was back again yesterday bringing with it a positively balmy 15 degrees. Perfect weather for us to get outside for some land management chores. Today we were expanding the orchard planting another 6 fruit trees which arrived by courier from the lovely people at The Edible Garden.
This new planting brings out fruit trees to 11 building on what we planted last year. I have my eye on planting some olives, lemons and oranges next year but need to do heaps more research to get the right varieties for our growing conditions. There was one tree that we couldn’t get this year – a Bramley Apple – but I’m on the waiting list for next year so we can start to grow our own cooking apples. You just can’t get them in the shops.
As last year, the bassets were on hand to supervise operations.
It was such a rare treat for all of us to be outside. MT pitched in too since the orchard his his area of particular interest in the garden. I suspect that this is because in years to come he’ll want to hang his hammock under the trees. Today he was required to do a little more hard graft. Like unpacking the trees, bashing in stakes and of course playing assistant photographer.
I’ve started to perfect the hole digging technique. The biggest problem I had was that the ground is so water logged it was pretty revolting working with the clay like soil. The ground is so uneven with tufts of grass, rabbit holes and other lumps and bumps. It’s to be expected given that this was only 18 months ago a pile of mud.
The more I think about it the more amazed I am at the progress we’ve made with things in the garden. In truth we’re dealing with a field and it’s probably a good idea that I remember that more often.
But for today, it was head down and bottom up, literally!
The bassets were on hand to keep me company and as usual were no help at all. They were much happier soaking up the sun and watching what I was doing. MT was busy hauling stuff around. For a while there he almost looked at home with that wheelbarrow.
There is something satisfying heeling in a new tree. I hope that these new trees grow as well as the ones we’ve already planted which are looking bigger and stronger. When I was talking to Sarah at Edible Garden she was telling me she’d just heeled in 7,000 trees. It makes my tree planting adventure almost laughable!
The best bit of tree planting is of course the looking back at the end and surveying the scene. It’s hard to tell where the trees are but if you look for the stakes you can be sure there is a tree there. You are also asked to ignor the pile of thistles that are dying back in a pile. This was left from our thistle harvest adventures earlier in the year. I have had plans for getting rid of that for months but weather has always conspired against me to either burning or shifting.
We were just catching the last of the real sunshine before heading out for our basset walk. The bassets were loving being able to hoon around outside without being yelled at to keep off the mud.
Yes, all in all it was a great day to tree planting and being outdoors generally. We even had our morning coffee sitting in the sun on the front veranda. You could be excused to think that Spring was already here. I fear though that the southerly winds and rain are due back tomorrow.
For the moment though, I’m going to enjoy the tree planting and the sun in the orchard and think what this will all look like when our trees are all grown up.
Oh, almost forgot, we planted:
Another Peasgood Nonesuch Apple, a Fig, Quince, another Cherry and Pear Tree. Also, a replacement Crab Apple by the house that was eaten by the rabbits!