Do you think that the early crops would survive the late frosts that we tend to get on the plains?
We’re in town, in a damp spot near the Heathcote River, so gets quite cold and frosty – though not as frequently crunching as the frosts out at Dunsandel. Our fruit trees do well. I find frosts quite useful for cleaning up bugs, and essential for apricot trees. The baujade is a fine low-disease apple – bought a rather knackered sapling from Portstone’s bargain bin one year, planted it in the wrong place, and it gives large lovely apples every second year, though the tree itself is gnarled and pathetic.
We have ballarat (wonderful cooker and often good eating, very late), Cox’s orange because I like it (but it gets manky), ditto for the Braeburn. Also fig Barnett’s Early (in the glasshouse), reine de bavay greengage (golden-green and honeyed). Ballarat is a healthy, easy tree, ditto the greengage. Another couple of apples that are unremarkable and I cannot remember their names.
One high-health apple I would very much like is Monty’s Surprise.
It looks like we may well be either replanting this garden or establishing another when our earthquaked house insurance finally gets sorted, so I’ve lost interest in planting any more. That’s a good thing because I’d plan the fruit trees differently: an orchard with a specific pasture mix and have chickens free-ranging for disease control and fertilising.
Another thing we have been using for the last couple of years is EM for pest and disease management on the fruit trees. Very much recommended and very easy.
Wow what an amazing forest already! May I suggest an early-fruiting (second or third week of January) Red Haven peach to plant about now, and in 18 months you will start to have crops of luscious red-gold yellow-fleshed peaches that do much better than many of the later variety, especially in dry summers. It's a good organic grower too - available from the fruit- tree bloke at the Riccarton market.
Red Haven also has the advantage of not being on the tree long enough to catch the neighbour's brown rot spores to a tragic degree. (The nectarines are a good month later and nearly always rot before they are pickable.)
Our gravenstein apple usually comes in a week before and, while not a great keeper, it's juicy, crisp and the very first apple for the season, before any others are in the shops.
What have you done about the understorey? We planted comfrey around all our new trees, then wafts of cow parsley with borage, nasturtiums and tagetes. All of which we like the look of, and for the bees and beneficials.
Hiraeth as: (noun) “a homesickness for a home you cannot return to, or that never was”.
Perfect for a state of mind; for me the loss of innocence about the nature of the land we live on. As well as for the phantom city, the one where I am waiting at the lights and suddenly realise the subconscious cityscape in the block coming up ahead no longer exists, and I am momentarily totally lost and unanchored in every way.
I enjoyed this piece so much that I want to be able to read it again for the first time.
Love the sound of your inventive and surprising children, and very sad at Polly's fear of her home disappearing again. I'm so happy that you have broken through to the other side of resettling.
Ferrymead had its own version of art.
Fallen gordonia flowers.
Stars on the grass. How very beautiful.
I haven’t been following this – at all. Sounds not good. CCC has been second-largest social housing provider in NZ, after HNZ.
isn’t the image quality amazing these days.
It can be. I’m learning how not to wobble. (No stabilisation on SE.) Also quite a few other things like no viewfinder.