Hunting and Gathering Trees

Finally, the weather turned to ‘not rainy’ and my schedule cleared up and I could go tree shopping.   Only I’ve left it a little late.  I knew I had but didn’t realise just how late as all the good stuff was gone.  It was my worst fear.  Well actually that is an overreaction, but it was rather disappointing.  Aside from earlier in the week, I wasn’t ready for the responsibility of becoming an orchard keeper and didn’t have the time to go off in search of trees.

I love how orderly nurseries look – everything in straight rows.

The up side was I was able to get some of what I needed, and I think I will just need to lurk in every nearby nursery and tree seller over the next wee while until I find what I need.  There is no real hurry, not really, except for my desire to indulge in fresh peaches and have plums for Christmas (maybe not this one) and sink my teeth into a sweet crispness that is fresh apples straight from the tree.  Once you know the pleasure of these things it is difficult to be without.

Bud break
Gosh, I’m sailing close to the wind here – the blossoms on the trees in the nursery are about to burst forth.

I was able to cross some things off my list, so progress is being made.  I have acquired a Santa Rosa Plum which is a complete must have if you want to grow many plums as it is a pollinator to many.  In the old orchard I wasn’t getting a harvest of plums and kept adding more plum trees in the hope they would make good friends and neighbours with no real resolution to the problem until I planted a Santa Rosa and then the plums finally began to put in an appearance.  Sadly, that first bumper crop was the in the season we sold up and left.  It broke my heart to see the potential harvest after years of waiting.  So, this time I am starting well.

Buying Trees
I think Hubby the Un-Gardener wanted to pop this wee dog into the barrow too, but we have enough on our plates right now.

These plums are said to be very yum with medium sized fruit with purple skin and yellow flesh and juicy.  They should be ready for harvest in mid-summer which will be perfect for grazing on fruit in the lazy, hazy days of summer.

To go with it, I didn’t quite get what I wanted but with the beauty of the great big internet in my hand I did a quick search right there and then to compare the varieties in front of me to see if any remotely matched my list.  I found a Wilsons Early would give me my Christmas plums and is great friends with Santa Rosa.  I still need a Black Doris for that late season deliciousness and I want a Damson – for the gin!  I will keep looking for these.

Citrus will have to wait. Besides they always seem to have it in stock.

I also wanted an early, mid and late season apple that stores well.  But I didn’t really want anything ordinary and the nursery was awash with granny smiths.  I didn’t really know what I wanted for mid and late season options and figured I’d know it when I saw it.  Fortunately, they had just one tree left for my early choice – a Cox’s Orange.  I vaguely remember my Grandfather growing these.  It think they were the ones, I’ll know when I take that first bite.  So, the apple search goes on.

Hubby the Un-Gardener took a fancy to these grasses. I didn’t bring him along for independent horticultural thought. He was there to lift and carry!

I managed to get a couple of Feijoas as while one is good, two are better.  They had the Mammoth ones I was after, but not my other choice, but at the end of the day, any feijoa is a good feijoa so I picked up an Apollo which is said to have large fruit and excellent flavour.

They also had my choice of Blueberries, so I have a Blue Dawn (which I had at the last place) and a Blue Magic.  These will go into the fruit cage, that still needs building, over beds that still need building and filling.  But good things take time and we’ll get there.  I also picked up a Black Satin Blackberry for in there too.  It is said to have large berries with a unique tart / sweet flavour.  This does concern me a little – that ‘unique’ word as the last time I tried a berry like this, I grabbed it on a whim at the garden centre and didn’t actually enjoy the flavour.  This is one plant I didn’t mind leaving behind.

Loading the car with trees
Make it fit Hubby the Un-Gardener.  Make it fit!

And finally, I grabbed an Olive.  It was on the list but more as a wish and I hadn’t spent anytime looking into it, but as they didn’t have anything else on my list I kind of impulse bought to feel like I wasn’t so far behind with my tree buying project.  Everyone tells me olives will do well here so we well see.  If it is the wrong kind, then I can always get a different one – we have the space.

pruning damaged trees
With trees in transit, there is bound to be some kind of damage. Use clean sharp secateurs to remove broken branches as soon as you get home.

I do feel a little sorry for the humble collection of trees I have just acquired as I have a ‘do or die’ philosophy when it comes to fruit trees.  I have tried to select varieties that are suggested to do well here but add the sea element to the mix and I’m really not sure how they will do.  But I can only but try.  It is better to try and fail than not try at all and never know you have missed out on all that you could have.

Come again soon – the tree search will continue with gusto.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

15 thoughts on “Hunting and Gathering Trees

  1. I had Santa Rosa plums in California–one thing I really miss. They make incredible jam–so when you’ve eaten your fill, keep picking and start canning. Too bad they cannot grow where I live now.

    1. It is a good stage to be at with garden. Buying plants without needing to justify the purchase. Things that are actually needed and wanted, not a whim at the garden centre. It does feel good! : o)

  2. You simply must have a Hawera Plum Delicious dark red fleshed sweet fruit and self fertile. The UnGardener is the most handy garden accessory you can ever have. Treat it well 🙂

    1. I did see that variety of plum and wasn’t sure. It is hard to know when you are standing in the garden centre. I’ve made poor choices that way before and trees are for life! Hubby the Un-Gardener does get looked after well. I’d be lost without him : o)

  3. Oh, fruit trees! It is months away for us, but it is fun to see it there. There were only a few cultivars of fruit that I ‘needed’. They were the cultivars that I remember from the orchards. Then, there are those that are left over at the end of bare root season that can be purchased for a few bucks each. Some are beat up and disfigured, but they are fun excuses to try new things. I sometimes grow them for a year until they can recover, and then give them to a neighbor the following winter.

    1. Frustratingly I have left it a bit late in the season, so I’m struggling to find the ones I want, but I wasn’t ready earlier! It is good to try other varieties though – as we have the space. : o)

  4. How exciting to be choosing trees for your new garden. I’m sorry the selection was limited, but perhaps that will be for the best. You’ll have a season to see what survives the sea air and you can always add more.

    1. Hi Alys. That is a good point. I have one of most of the things I want, but I was hoping to get a early, mid and late season harvest from them too. So I guess, if they aren’t to survive, then I’m only losing one of each not all three! And we will still have some to eat of each, sooner rather than later – if they survive! It will all work out. Thanks for being the voice of reason. I don’t feel the need to rush about getting any more trees now. : o)

Leave a Reply