My husband G and I recently bought a small orchard.
Actually, we bought a house in Lithgow that came with an orchard – our backyard is full of fruit trees.
- Multiple apple trees. One is (I’m 90 percent sure) a Cox’s Pippin Orange; I’m waiting for the others to ripen so I can try to identify them
- Two pears – a Beurre Bosc and a Packham.
- Multiple plums – an Angelina, Sugar plums and a President plum.
- An apricot tree
- Several peaches
- A lime tree
- A grapefruit
- Hazelnut trees
This was a dream come true. I’d spent years dreaming of a garden full of fruit trees and a productive vegetable patch. I’d grown various crops in pots as we rented, including a fairly productive blueberry, alpine strawberries, tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers (much more successfully than the zucchinis that failed to set fruit).
When we started house hunting, I was expecting to find a small backyard that was mostly lawn, maybe a few garden beds, that I could transform into a vegetable garden with a few fruit trees. We saw houses with backyards along those lines, but then spotted a listing for a house with established fruit trees. One viewing and we were convinced – we had to buy it.
Several months (and hot weather, rain and thunderstorms) later, we’ve moved in and, in between unpacking my huge library and working, I’m learning how to care for these trees. I had already started taking a Horticulture Certificate by correspondence and spent hours reading gardening books and pouring over seed catalogues, looking for unusual herbs and different tomato cultivars that don’t usually make it into the shops. However, we’re now talking a well established orchard and all the tasks involved in its care.
I’m having to learn fast… and since a lot of books, websites, etc, recommend keeping a garden diary so you can look back at what you’ve done in the past, I’m planning to blog my progress and my research.
So… welcome to the orchard!