Saturday, June 11, 2011

The weather really doesn’t know what it wants to do. Here we are into the second week of June and nothing but completely overcast skies although there doesn’t give any indication of rain. The first apricots are dropping so I went into the garden and picked a carrier bag full. There’s masses still on the tree that were difficult for me to reach for the simple reason that picking the first lot nearly did for me. These apricots are smallish, tasty, but quite hard with hardly any juice whereas the second tree, a different variety, fruits in late summer early autumn, the fruit being much bigger and simply running with juice.

Depression depression, depression, I have to face up to the fact that age has caught up with me and I can no longer do anything in the garden except maybe potter about. It took me thirteen years of hard work lovingly undertaken to get the garden from a barren piece of land with huge rocks, boulders even, and under the walnut trees a positive forest of a certain kind of lily that took me three years or more to eradicate, into something giving the semblance of a real garden and it has all gone to pot in one season. Because of ill-health I’ve not been able to tackle it and the others have had much too much on their plates to expect them to do it (Chris has finally finished his sixteen stained glass windows, they are in situ and look ravishing) so it is no one’s fault but the weeds are rampant and everything is overgrown and needs to be cut right back. It is very colourful at the moment because all the shrubs, including roses, the bougainvillea and the oleander, red, pink and cream are in full bloom but that is little compensation for the mess. Trees have literally doubled in height and breadth and the fruit trees, mulberry, grape, fig, quince, guava, lemon, orange, prickly pear, all desperately need pruning. Even the walnut trees need cutting back. The avocado has grown considerably over the winter but disappointingly is not bearing any fruit this year and the nut peach, my favourite, has no more than half a dozen fruits. The nectarine has to be got rid of entirely. We have tried every year to eradicate the peach curl with spray and even completely denuding the tree of foliage but it keeps coming back so the only thing left is to get rid of the tree. We have never had fruit off it anyway.

An ancient pine tree right at the end of the garden has died, from old age I reckon, so that also has to go and will provide a fair amount of wood for the winter, that and all the other branches lying around from previous pruning. It is not a job we want to tackle as the tree is about forty foot high and really requires someone with expertise to take it down; once down Douglas can get busy with the chain saw to cut it into usable logs. There is also one fig tree that has grown out of all proportion to what it used to be only a year ago and it is covered in fruit but unfortunately as Douglas has discovered it is a male and the fruit inedible and will come to nothing.

What we need now more than anything is a gardener but in our current state of precarious finances that is mere wishful thinking.

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