Monday, October 19, 2009

Lovely gentle intermittent rain for two days so the garden won’t need watering for a while. This coming week after a dry period I will have to start burning. The summer’s over so the chances of starting a conflagration are minimal though I will see there is water standing by should things look as though they’re getting out of control. There’s an awful lot to be got rid of as well as a mountain to climb cutting back what has become an absolute jungle. The garden is large, 1500 square metres. It was originally 2000 but was reduced when we had the extension built. We have planted a number of trees, ornamental as well as fruit. There are four orange trees, three varieties including a Seville, bitter and great for marmalade. Three of these were here when we bought the house. There was also a lemon just outside the kitchen door but we lost that some years ago, in consequence of which we’ve planted three more. There is also a mandarin. All the citrus is bearing masses of fruit at the moment. The avocado pears are coming on as well, the winds of Crete not having knocked them off, and the pomegranates are ripe. Prickly pears are finished for this year, most of them lying beneath the plant and rotting. You can smell the alcohol a mile off! We have a nectarine, a present from American friends some years back but unfortunately that bugger has never born fruit, only peach curl which we’ve had to spray in an endeavour to get rid of every year. Maybe next year it will bear fruit. The nut-peach though has given us masses of fruit every year and so has the quince. There are five olive trees, two different varieties, all we could find space for and two different grapes. Right at the far end of the garden is an ancient pear, god alone knows how old it is and at most we get a dozen or so pears off it if we’re lucky. But it is such a venerable old man one would hate to see it go. There are four walnut trees which reminds me to go out now and collect this year’s fall although we’ve got sacks of them going back two or three years. Can’t get through them fast enough. What have I forgotten? Oh, yes, the loquat and two mulberries, purple and white, the white being much the sweeter of the two, and two varieties of apricot, one smallish and quite firm and the other large and very juicy. Both trees give an abundance of fruit in consequence of which the store cupboard holds quite a few jars of apricot jam and preserve and I have made apricot wine as well. There is also a wild almond and we did have a granadilla vine from which we got a lot of fruit but unfortunately a couple of years back when we had a rare fall of snow the cold killed it off. Oh, forgot the plums! Two varieties, red and yellow. These were also here when we bought the house. Used to have a third but that suddenly died as well. Provided quite a lot of firewood though. Whoops! Forgot the figs, brown and winter green.Then, at ground level, there is the strawberry patch that does well every year. The plants don’t seem to know what the seasons are as we sometimes find fruit on them in December! The big disappointment is apple, difficult to grow here because like parsnips they need a really cold spell and don’t get it. The apple tree we planted simply didn’t take off at all. Altogether though not bad for a village garden.

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