Friday, 13 November 2015

Upside Down Pears

Well, I was slack last week (reading binge :-) Phillipa Gregory books ) and didn't blog, consequently I have a gazillion photos for you today! 
 It's that time of year, everything is growing and growing and growing, weeds included!  The fruit trees are netted to keep out the parrots.  We didn't bother netting the almond in the bottom left, we were too late, the little green feathered bastard got in there and left us with one, ONE almond!  And here is it, lonely larry almond.... ha ha, we shall call it Larry :-)
The citrus thankfully don't need netting.  They are growing really well now, with loads of small fruit developing.  We have so many limes we don't know what to do with them all! :-)
 Look at this!  These are teeny tiny Williams pears, aren't they cute, little upside down pears.  I never stopped to think that they grow upside down until their weight turns them downwards.  Apples grow the same but the pears are way cuter. 
 These are Sundowner apples.  We are growing five apple varieties, to give us apples over a longer time period, but they've gone bonkers this year with the weird weather, the Sundowner is supposed to be the latest fruiter, but no-one told this tree, this tree is going to be the first fruiter this season!
These are Angel peaches, the flat shaped ones with white flesh.  We had trouble with a bad dose of leaf curl on the tree this season (my fault for not spraying with copper before the leaves started growing) so there's not a huge amount of fruit, maybe a dozen or so.  But we will enjoy them, we got six last year and we still remember how delicious they were.
 I love the new foliage on apricot trees, so so pretty.  This tree has gone beserk with growth, only two apricots but lots of leaf and branch growth.  Next year we shall glut on apricots, I am confident.  :-)
  The Italian Sugar Plum has also gone crazy with tree growth, but it forgot to do its magic with fruit, there is one, just one.  But I look at it regularly, I am very fond of it, looking forward to tasting it.  Perhaps I should name this too?
Nectarines, these are the white fleshed one, called Gold something, Goldmine maybe.  Dumb name for a white fleshed nectarine methinks.  There are about thirty of these on the tree, I am guessing they will be ready in a few weeks.  The other nectarine is a yellow fleshed variety - Flavortop, that has more fruit on it.  Can't wait to start eating our own fruit! 
Michelle, look!  Feijoa flowers!  Hopefully we will get some fruit this year.
 Six months ago Steve planted then lovingly tended 100 garlic plants. Yesterday was harvest day.  It's always a bit tricky working out when to pull them, but a good indication is when the foliage starts browning off at the tops.
 Steve got the spade under each one and I pulled, they had an impressive root system.
 Look at the size of this monster!  It's done so much better this year, last year's garlic was puny, and not just ours, it seemed to be common all around Albany.
 100 healthy garlic globes drying on the racks, very satisfying.  We'll let them dry out for a few days then trim the roots and tidy them up.
Albany and Denmark do an annual Open Garden thingy, to raise money for the Albany Community Hospice.  This started up after the official state Open Garden program turned up its toes.  There are about 12 gardens open over a few weekends.  We decided to choof along and see a couple. 
 Wow, amazing!  We wandered around magnificent lawns meandering through lush garden beds.  This garden had a stunning big pond at the bottom, with a huge weeping willow overhanging it.  We already have a big hole dug ready for a pond, it has sat idle for about 18 months while we tackled higher priority things, but seeing this pond has got us thinking that we must get moving with ours.  
The garden below was like a pristine park, it was predominantly roses which are not really our thing, but we admired the fabulous way the beds were set out and the immaculate lawns.
 I am on a mission to find out what the lovely little plant is, it was in one of the open gardens.  It stands about waist high and looks a bit like an abelia, but not quite.  If anyone knows what it is, please can you tell me!  Meanwhile I shall toodle through Google and hopefully find it.  My garden needs one of these!
 I've been busy in the back garden this week.  I want to widen the second tier of garden beds, so I cut a meandering edge around the grass, then started digging.  I've replanted the grass runners in a bald area, now to think about what plants to put into the spaces.  I like having spaces, gives me food for thought for what might like to grow there. :-)
We've only got half a dozen strawberry plants this year, in my back garden beds.  It's a fight to get a strawberry actually, usually I find the strawberry has a little hole in the underside, and inside is a fat, well fed slug!  I've put them in an area that is too overgrown and the slugs know it!  Next year I shall move them, meanwhile I am sort of hitching the strawberries up and over the leaves of the plants, getting the berries up off the ground seems to fool the slugs.
 Mum, this photo is for you.  Remember when I took a few cuttings of your lovely begonia with the apricot flowers?  Well, they sat stubbornly in pots for a couple of months, died right back and I thought they had carked it.  But no, look what is emerging, it looks like they will survive, hooray!
 Isn't this a beautiful flower, it's a Buddleia, or Butterfly Bush.  This is the first flower out, with masses of buds so there will be many.  Then I hope to see them dripping with butterflies.
 The warm weather brings out the bugs in force.  The giant hornets are zooming around now, in their hunt for spiders.  This one caught herself a big fat spider, stung it to paralyse it, then dragged it away to her underground lair to lay an egg on it.  Gruesome.
 It's nice to see some kookaburras around, they have been rather scarce this year.
 The hens are going well, and have feathered up nicely.  This week we have had five eggs every single day!  They are very happy girls.  
Sadly we lost Bridget, one of the old girls.  She was poorly for a couple of days and I was sitting in their yard, nursing her in a towel when she did a couple of gasps, a bit of a quiver and then died in my arms!  I cried a little bit, she was a lovely hen, quiet and friendly.  I think Angie, the last remaining original, misses her.
Speaking of eggs, we are always thinking of ways to use them.  Steve's signature dish is a cheesy omelette.  OMG, the way he makes them, they are sooooo delicious.  He cooks the omelette until it is not quite set on top, then adds some grated mozarella, and in this case, chopped spinach too, then folds it up and plates it.  The mozarella gets all oozy and glorious, yum!
My clever husband has been busy on his Book Box.  Isn't it lovely, the grain in the she-oak is just gorgeous.  Now it looks like a book with a lock on it to keep it closed, yes?
Da-dum, it actually opens the other way round, with the lock actually being a hinge.  Good job my dear.
I will finish with these photos that Michelle took, of me and Neo.  I love this one, Neo looks utterly content, having a cuddle.
There is a time limit on cuddles however, then you get bashed in the nose.
He's a beautiful boy.

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