Sunday, 23 July 2006

A fruitful weekend

Out of the depths of winter springs a sunny weekend. This prompted me to get outside and spend some time in my garden.

I am not much of a gardener. I'm neither very good at it, nor do I have a passion for it. Occasionally, however, the mood takes me. I dabbled with home produce last summer. Nothing spectacular, just some tomatoes, rocket and a few herbs. But I really enjoyed the experience and am hoping to repeat it this coming summer, plus raise it a notch or two.

I read somewhere that you're supposed to prepare the soil during winter, some weeks prior to planting. I also read that this is the time for planting fruit trees. (I should add at this juncture that neither am I much of a fruit eater . . .) I remembered seeing at Garden World in Keysborough these fabulous columnar apple trees - essentially a single spike upon which apples grow. Ideal for small, narrow gardens. I wanted one then. So I remembered it now.

I went to Garden World.

I spent a little while perusing the various soil conditioners, composts, fertilisers, blood & bone, etc etc and drew a blank. I also looked at the bare rooted apple trees and wondered what I was supposed to do with them. In the end, this very nice lady assisted and instructed just what to do with what as far as the soil stuff went. She then told me I had to buy TWO apple trees (unless a neighbour had a Ganny Smith tree) so that the bees could pollinate them.

Well, I have no idea what my neighbours have, so I bought two apple trees. (OMG! TWO apple trees!)

By the time I had finished at Garden World and got to my garden at home it was about 4pm and the day was becoming cool. Nevertheless, I sprinkled and dug in the compost and fertiliser, decided where to put the TWO apple trees and planted them.

In addition to apple trees I bought a number of other plants that took my fancy, so today I had another planting day. I planted some rosemary that had been sitting in a pot, plus a plant that might be a chilli plant, plus some gorgeous little flame grass from NZ, plus a protea (?) which necessitated transplating an ailing butterfly bush . . . so you can see I was very busy!

I don't know what I'm going to do with two apple trees. It could be that the evil possums will get all the new shoots and it will have been a complete waste of time! Let's see. Maybe I'll learn to eat more apples.

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