The Fruits of my Obsession

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but I do tend to fuss and fret over the fruit growing in our garden. Since the rats, birds, ants, snails and squirrels take their share, I’ve realized that volume is key. If your plants produce, say, five strawberries, chances are slim that you’ll be able to harvest any for yourself. On the other hand, dozens of strawberries, oranges, raspberries or plums make for a fruitful harvest. Hence, my fruitful obsession.

This is year five in the garden for our 4-in-1 fruit cocktail tree. All the pruning I did years two through four has paid off. We have a bumper crop this year from two of the four grafts.

apricots

Apricots

plums

Plums

peach

Lone Peach

dead nectarine graft

Four grafts (the small ‘twig’ should be a nectarine)

One of the grafts died early on, but I recently learned from my friend Doug that we can re-graft! That was a bit of good news. The apricots and plums look great. The peach graft suffered leaf curl this year. So far only one, rock-hard peach.

We’ll still have plenty of fruit to eat and share, so that is pretty exciting.

Our 25-year-old orange tree is covered in fruit year round. The oranges are no longer sweet enough to eat alone, but my boys love making fresh-squeezed orange juice. We’re also doing our part to keep the neighborhood rats from getting scurvy. They have their own little health clinic in the backyard.

orange tree

Orange tree

Tree Rat

Tree Rat

After several dismal years with the blueberry plant, I’m seeing signs of honest to goodness fruit this year. In addition to being tasty, blueberries are loaded with high antioxidants.

blueberry plant

Blueberries beginning to form

A few strawberry plants jumped from the box and continue to happily grow in the nearby gravel. Thanks to composting, they’re surrounded by volunteer potato plants. It looks like a party out there with the gorgeous greens, reds and lavender.

strawberries and potatoes

Strawberries and potatoes

The early heat sent our raspberries into overdrive. They’re pumping out flowers and fruit, in addition to providing nectar for the hummingbirds. I’ve seen the little hummers sipping nectar twice from the white flowers, but didn’t have my camera in tow. I’m happy to see them enjoying the flowers; we’re happily enjoying the fruits of my obsession.

My oldest son turns 17 today. Happy Birthday, C!

fairy garden birthday

A wee birthday celebration in the fairy garden

11 thoughts on “The Fruits of my Obsession

  1. My, 17 is becoming quite grown up now. It won’t be long before C starts to flap those wings!! It is very sweet that the fairy garden gets to celebrate still. At 17 my girls were still quite dismissive of their childhood traditions – but at 18 were found setting up the displays again for themselves πŸ™‚

    I understand your fruit obsession – getting to know our trees is a long and complex relationship I think. I used to have an old plum tree that fruited unbelievably every second year. I learned to preserve, make jam, freeze and dry enough for the two year span. I wonder if that rule applies in any way to modern grafts?

    I love your blueberry – those are such pretty looking little bushes – I’m not sure what you are properly supposed to call them. I also love blueberries! πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. Everything’s growing nicely at your house, including the birthday boy. Did you go out with your men to celebrate tonight? Gosh, I don’t remember what I did on my 17th birthday, probably hung with friends. Did Mighty Mouse crash C’s night?
    I’m fascinated by what the Fairies did to help C celebrate, look at that tiny slice of cake along with silverware! So teeny tiny πŸ˜€ I’d have to have more than one slice of cake because they look totally diet friendly. Then their banner goes all the way from the yard to the reading garden! That was a fun touch. Looks like they’re expecting a lot of guests too, they’ve left out a number of party hats πŸ˜€ Your Fairies really know how to pretty up the garden on these special days.
    Your garden looks like it’s on steroids. The magic compost is really putting in a big kick to the planters. Banana’s! Thanks for the rat update, eeeeek! I guess it’s a small sacrifice to look out at all that sunshine in the yard. I’m surprised the cats don’t try and catch them. Blossum thinks she’d like to catch a magpie. They taunt each other everyday. Blossum from her perch and the magpie just a few feet away in a tree. It actually hops closer to the window to really get Blossum wound up. LOL. Oh the entertainment I get here.
    It amazes me that you can actually grow these things in your yard. We are lucky for crabapples here. Everyone is always trying to give them away at the same time. I helped someone make pies one year. They’re not too bad but really sour without a mountain of sugar. I think apple and blueberry would be rather yummy in a pie. Or apple and strawberry mixed.
    Will Mike manage the garden ok while we’re on our get-away? So sweet of him to give you up for a whole week so I can love you up. Mr B gets off easy, no kids, only 2 cats and no garden. I’ll have to bring him back something nice though. Gads, I can’t wait xoxoxox

    Like

  3. The fairy garden looks so sweet decked out for a birthday party! πŸ˜€
    Your orange tree is also a beautiful tree even if it didn’t produce fruit. Your rats are very lucky!

    Like

  4. You are really lucky! The orange tree looks so beautiful – have never seen an orange tree so full of fruits. Here we are in the peak of the desert summer and these pictures soothe. Thank you! πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. You crack me up with the Health Clinic for Rats in the back yard and the party in the box and gravel.
    The orange tree is beautiful … so they lose sweetness over time? Did not know that.

    Like

  6. We had an orange tree in Burbank close to the house that didn’t produce good oranges. They tasted like quinine. When the neighbor kids kept climbing over the wall to get to them and we feared a lawsuit, we took the tree down. Those further away from the house did so much better. Maybe the dirt was different. I want to find out from you how to grow organic potatoes. I don’t eat potatoes mostly but if I do, I want no chemicals on them. Yours look wonderful.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Strawberries After All | Gardening Nirvana

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s