We’ve finally sunk into a true winter burst, with chilly temps and snow on the mountains. Whilst the snow will be gone by Monday, the cooler temperatures remind us that we need to consider frosts and planting seeds for spring. We’ve planted broad beans in the veggie garden (traditionally on Anzac Day April 25th, here in Tasmania but we’ve planted as late as August) and begun to rest and feed the veggie garden. There’s always more for us to do in our garden in autumn/winter, I love it. Pruning, feeding, mulching, planting, planning – and so we’ve begun.
First, the garlic’s in.
Second, the berry house which looks totally unloved in the pic, has been weeded, had a light trim and has had about a stack of pine- needle mulch packed all around. The big prune will be done in a few weeks.
Third, the orchard (which is not really an orchard anymore) is slowly filling up with trees that I love. There’s at least a robinia, a ginko and a walnut yet to go in. And TBH, anything else I see and like. My hope is they all survive to build that micro-climate I’ve mentioned before. This pic also shows how bad the pear slug was in the pear trees this year. The trees are about 50 years old and some years they surprise us by staying pest-free and filled with fruit. Even so, this year we have made jars of delicious chutney and some yummy pear and raspberry cakes. The willow tree in the orchard has barely changed to yellow yet. It’s always slow, often not de-leafing till July. The big one in the front garden is the same.
Fourth, I’ve planted a few tubs of last year’s orange, black and white tulips (as per Monty Don) to see how they go. It’s generally not a good garden for tulips as the spring gales just break the stems but I’m keen to try some old bulbs to see what happens. They’re covered with wire because bulbs are the only thing the possums eat in our garden. They dig into the tubs, lift the bulbs and nibble away as if they’ve discovered truffles!
My final pic (only five today) is my astonishing miniature Meyer lemon tree. It’s going gangbusters! I’m staggered at the stunning fragrance and how much juice there is in each tiny little lemon. They don’t zest well, but they pack so much punch for their size. I’ll be making lemon butter, lemon filling, lemon cakes, maybe even lemon cordial!
That’s it from me for this week.
Oh, no it’s not.
There is a tree I really love in a friend’s coastal garden.
Can anyone identify it? And if I want to try and take a cutting, do I take old wood with a good heel?
Finally, that’s my lot for this week. Hop onto SoS, to Mr P to see what everyone else has been doing!
Wow, those lemons, how lovely! Don’t forget Lemon Drizzle cake too!
Yes, lemon drizzle cake! That’s another. I think Mary Berry has a great recipe. Thanks for the reminder!
These Meyer lemons look juicy ! And you have a bunch of them… I’m also very satisfied with mine ,smaller than yours though …
I need as many recipes as I can find so that I don’t waste all that lovely homegrown juice, Fred!
All I can say is Lemon Tree envy, how about a grove of them! You have the wonderful weather to be able to grow these.
Noelle, the lemon and a kaffir lime are in tubs in a very sheltered spot out of wind and protected by the boat shed from frost. They are obviously happy there. The frosts are pretty brisk when they come but so sheltered is the spot they’re in, that we don’t even have to cover them.
I wonder if your tree is one of the Amelanchiers? The berries look right, and the leaf colours, but maybe not the leaf shape. I’d go for a semi-ripe heel cutting, rather than taking one from old wood, and obviously it should be a sprig that has never flowered. Good luck!
Thank you, Rosalind. I’ll do some research. It’s got a lovely colour in autumn and in summer is a naturally beautiful shape. It’s surviving in grey sand and copes with coastal drought brilliantly. Definitely not a native. I’ll try and take a cutting but I’m not very good at this. I think I need Mr. P – Jonathan, the Propagator and instigator of SoS! 😉
What a lovely, large garden you have. Do your lemons start very green on the tree? My daughter in Dubai sent me a photo of many limes on a tree in their garden but she says they aren’t as tangy a taste as limes are usually. However, they are very good in a gin and tonic, she says.
Thank you, Granny. It’s not a very interesting shape and we do the best we can with what we inherited from the original owners. It’s about half an acre of which half is the old orchard. My lemons do start green but ripen really swiftly and some have an almost globe shape instead of the traditional lemon shape. The kaffir lime produces some fruit which is worthwhile actually – very lime-ish which I gather might be unusual for a kaffir.
I don’t drink but I reckon these limes would be okay in a G and T! 😉
My first thought on the tree was a hawthorn of some sort, except the leaves seemed completely wrong. However, there is a species called the fanleaf hawthorn, Crataegus flabellata, which looks a pretty good match. I doubt you’d get it to go from cuttings but I’d have thought seeds would stand a good chance. They’d need stratifying.
I’m much impressed by your lemon, a friend of ours nearby had one against a south facing wall for many years but it was never happy and eventually died.
Jim, I googled the fanleaf hawthorn and you’re right, it’s a very likely match. Thank you very much. I shall watch for seeds (the red berries, presumably?) I also googled how to stratisfy seeds as I’d never heard of the technique before. Love SoS – one learns a lot! I think this propagation is going to be very hard – I tried to strike cuttings from it last year and it was of course, a total failure.
I think I will de-fruit my lemon tree to give it a rest and also trim the tree back a little. I don’t want it to tire itself out.
The red berries will have seeds in them which will need extracting and cleaning. Then sow them in a pot of any seed compost and put them somewhere shady but unprotected from frost and hopefully some will germinate next spring. I get carpets of seedlings from our neighbours thorn tree, they germinate where the fruits fall or where the birds drop them.
Thanks so much for the help, Jim. I appreciate it!
The old trees in your orchard are such a wonderful shape. I see Jim has already suggested Hawthorn for the mystery tree which would have been my guess too. The lemons look wonderful.
I’m heading into a whole new arena of gardening thanks to Jim, Hortus! 😉