My poor orchard has been left to its own devices yet again. I have seemed to have developed a do or die attitude with the trees down the end, in the ultimate low maintenance gardening style. However orchards aren’t meant to be low maintenance. They have wants and needs like everything else. But sometimes when life knocks the wind out of your sails, something has to give and so it is always the orchard to lose my attention first. It could be that we put it at the far end of our land to give us a reason to go there, or having so much land would seem pointless. But it can seem like quite a hike if you’re not up to it or just plain busy.
Other times life cannot just knock the wind out, but roll up the sails and declare, “you aren’t going anywhere until you rest.” And just like that the energy, will and desire to garden are snatched away while some healthy recharging goes on. Then as the breeze gently fills the sails again, curiosity is roused and the garden once again draws you in as the place to be on a sunny late spring afternoon.
After a period of enforced rest longer than I would have liked, I carefully headed out to the garden – just to look, not to dig. Not just yet. The weeds had made their presence felt as the soil has warmed considerably. This is a good sign, I’ll be able to sow beans now with a greater chance of success. Not that I like beans all that much.
The grass was grazing at my ankles, I really must mow. But then the weeds need attention. Watering isn’t a problem as the rain has done nothing but fall from the sky steadily for days. There are blessings to be found, even for a gardener not able to garden. The pumpkin bed is so close to being ready, it is almost cruel. An hour or two of hard yakka and they’d be in. But not today.
After going around the garden several times making mental lists, I began to wonder about the orchard. I really should care more. Not that I don’t care about it, I’m just not so good caring for it. Half afraid of what I’d find I wandered slowly ‘down the end’ to check out the trees.
Despite peach leaf curl in the peaches and nectarines, the crop looks quite bumper. The wind seems to have blown most of the deformed leaves from the branches and new leaves seem to be coming through, lush and healthy. I should have sprayed months ago though.
Excitement rose when I cast my eye over the apricot tree. It was full of fruit. I wasn’t expecting that as our location isn’t ideal for apricots and I had planted the tree with a wishful thinking in mind. It was definitely in the do or die category of my garden and is beginning to ‘do’. The second apricot tree I think is erring towards the ‘die’ side. It is quite windswept and there is an air of ill health about it. I feel a touch of guilt towards it, but I know it wouldn’t be high enough on the ‘to do’ list to completely ensure its survival.
Used to having to search eagerly in the pear tree for a budding fruit or if I was lucky two or three, I was stopped in my tracks to see more pears than I’ll know what to do with. Come autumn I imagine I will be sharing a lot of fruit, especially as the apples are also bursting with fruit. It is going to be a bumper season by all accounts. Even some of the plums trees, that have done nothing more than just grow big for me are showing fruit. This is terrific news as I do love plums.
I returned from the garden determined to take more care of the orchard and began wondering how on earth I was going to control the waist high grass and weeds running rampant through it…. At this point I have no idea, except that I know something should be done…
Come again soon – it is good to be back in the garden. I’ve missed it.
Sarah the Gardener : o )