Archive for the ‘fruit trees’ Tag

Up this garden path…   11 comments

Remember that I was waiting to lead you up this garden path (no figurative pun intended!) in my previous post?

This garden gate opens up to my sweet L-O-V-E Garden - full of everything lovely to eat!

Now you know my secret… I have a secret love in my backyard. A Little Orchard and Vegetable [Edible] garden (hence the acronym L-O-V-E)  in my backyard. Why ‘secret’? Well firstly,  it had been in a pathetic non-productive doldrum for the past three years when I first began planting fruit trees . I have two mango trees – one  a chokanan and the other only known as ‘my brother-in-law’s neighbour’s mango’. Then I put in two longan trees – one I named ‘Vicki’s Longan’ since the tree was transplanted in its teens from Vicki’s garden into mine, and the other was a  longan tree which I had suspected was a tobacco plant and not a longan tree when it was young, as it did not at all resemble Vicki’s longan tree! However, the garden nursery lady whom I had bought the plant from, had vouched for that longan tree’s ‘genealogy’, so I curtailed my plans to chop down that barren tree. I planted a guava tree that attracted white cottony flying insects. Next, I brought in a rose-apple plant that was only about three feet tall when it started bearing tiny rose-apple fruit which were rather sour. It did not deem it necessary to produce any more fruit for the next three years. Then I added a citrus corner in  the backyard where I planted two lemon trees, two lime trees – (locally known as limau kasturi), one kaffir lime tree (limau purut),  one  of another type of lime tree ( limau nipis), two mandarin orange trees imported from China (one of which met its demise due to the harsh condition of the hot, dry season here which it was not used to in its country of origin; fortunately its hardier brother  survived). I also had four soursop plants but only one is still standing today. See why I had nothing to shout about considering this shameful state of events in the desolate country of my backyard? Even the passion-fruit which were my pride and joy in the beginning , producing perfect round, dark green fruit dangling from the pergola, succumbed to disease and had to be humanely put out of its misery.

However,  the grapevine which I had planted, had  filled me with great expectations. My  grapevine  had actually begun to fruit when it was in my front garden, twining up my 7-foot high pergola. I would excitedly usher everyone who visited  me, to my ‘vineyard’ and point out to them the miniscule green clusters of grape flowers. Everyone would get caught up in my enthusiasm and exclaim at the discovery of  each bunch of  adorable young grapes, green in colour  in its  infancy. When the grapes grew into delightful dark red clusters of luscious perfection, no one had the heart to pluck even one grape. It was not because  the size of the grape was too small (it was really small- one cluster of about sixteen grapes would fit into an espresso cup!), it was because they were too adorable to be table grapes. They would probably be more suitable for the bottle, although I estimated that  my first harvest might yield a thimble-full of rich, red wine. I only tasted my first grape when I noticed that the birds were pecking at them – not necessarily feeding on them but just pecking at them till they fall to the ground…the grapes I mean, not the birds. It was definitely time to pick the grapes… I tenderly washed each delicate grape and put one in my mouth. It was the most…sour grape on the face of the earth. I had produced the proverbial sour grape! Not just any plain sour grape, but the world’s tiniest sour grapes. Needless to say, to me they deserve another superlative – they were the darling-est, grapes,  the sort that dreams are built upon.

I have since transplanted the grape vine to the lower pergola in my backyard. They have not begun fruiting again, but this time I have given them a different soil condition, and a shady spot. I still harbour dreams of plucking tantalising sweet grapes  from my backyard, despite the history of that desolate country I have been relating to you.’ Why, foolish gardener?’, you might ask.

The answer is this – it is the dawn of a new age in that no-man’s land behind my house.  When I returned from my travels abroad, I discovered to my unsurpassed joy, that both my longan trees had burst forth with flowers! My lime trees are covered with limes, my lemon tree which had so far produced one fruit at a time, now has five on the branches. The rose-apple tree which had been prolific only with leaves are now producing beautiful flowers. My guava branches are bending heavy with fruit. Although the mango trees have not shown any sign of flowering, it is a time for celebration! It is a time to be thankful for Nature’s bounty. I am deeply touched.

My picture gallery below says it all…never abandon hope as Nature has a way of healing the vegetation and repairing the land, with the help of Man’s willing cooperation.

Like sparklers lit up in the night, these rose apple florets lit me up with joy when I first saw them.

These wrinkly, tough skinned kaffir limes hang from the tip of every branch.

One of the five lemons I am waiting to savour in a glass of refreshing lemonade.

The tobaco plant that grew into a longan tree.

To some this is just a part of a green tree, to me this sprout is hope personified.

The prettiest grapes I've ever grown. I admit it, I'm biased.

How I long for a bumper crop next year.

New home in the backyard for my darling grapevine. If you look closer you can see a bunch of green grapes hanging there. Do not be is not real. The reason I tied it there is to demonstrate to my grapevine the correct size its grapes are expected to grow.

Nothing excites me more than to see did they get so perfect?

An abundance of limes from my citrus patch.

The guava have to be wrapped to protect them from fruit flies.

Sweet, sweet taste of success!

The last of the passion fruit left on the plant. I have new plants of two varieties now in my backyard. Estimated fruiting time...February next year.

So can the gardener now sit back and enjoy the fruits of her labour? Well, only if she remembers to help Mother Nature along by doing the following number of chores that activated all these bursts of fruiting activity in the first place:

1.  Mulch the trees with more grass clippings when the layer of mulching wears thin.

2.  Fertilize frequently.

3.  Remove diseased leaves from the branches.

4.  Wash  the cottony white pests off the underside of the guava leaves with soapy water. One wash will keep the pests away for months,

5.  Spray home-made fruit peel enzymes on plants and leaves for pest-control. Remember not to over-do it as that might kill off the insects that help to pollinate          the flowers.

6. Add fruit peel and kitchen  waste to the compost heap.

7. Add compost to base of fruit trees.

8. Weed.

9.Get the grass trimmed.

10. Weed some more.

Finally… start with chore Number 1 again!

Back to my question…so when does the gardener get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of her labour?

I have thoroughly enjoyed our walk  up my garden path that leads to the sweetest of gardens.  That is the answer to my own question above. I declare that when the gardener shares with her friends the fruits of her labour, that is the sweetest reward and the greatest enjoyment of her l-o-v-e-ly, sweet garden.


Posted November 27, 2010 by mygardenhaven1 in Categories

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