Despite the cold and the rain, I managed to get a few jobs done last month. The first was to get the dwarf Stella cherry ready for the new season…..its second year of growth. I dug a small swale behind it so I could keep the water up to it in the summer :
Then I installed a support for a net :
I picked only about eight cherries last year and I’m hoping for a bigger crop this year.
I bought a dwarf Granny Smith apple and planted it on a hugelkulture mound. I’ll eventually put in a couple of posts and a wire framework and have a go at espalier :
It will get more TLC here because I’ll be planting my zucchinis on the mound when the weather warms and there’s a sprinkler system from the tank in place. The original Granny Smith I planted is right down the back where I never seem to want to drag the hose and the apples are always small. It’s too big for a net, but I try and protect a few with bits of netting, otherwise I generally leave them to the birds.
I also bought 5 bare-rooted, thornless blackberry canes and planted them on a new hugelkulture mound I’d been building up for a few months, with raked leaves and sticks from the walking tracks in the bush :
This mound is on contour and on the slope that leads to the first of the three pools on the property. Although I haven’t yet dug out a swale in front of the mound, water is already collecting there and running underneath the mound and into the pool.
I’d love to have nasturtiums growing everywhere, but the rabbits love them as well. The only place I can keep them is inside a wire circle. These are keeping a Cox’s Orange Pippin apple company :
Fortunately, the rabbits don’t like Warrigal Greens, so they’re doing a great job as a ground cover in the food forest :
These climbing peas have just started to flower :
Attractive foliage of Jagallo Nero kale :
And Red Russian kale :
I’m not picking much from the garden at the moment….just some greens and a few yellow tamarillos. The red variety has produced very few fruits because of an aphid attack last spring when they were flowering and most of the flowers dropped off.
On the chook front…..two of the New Girls have started laying again and I’m getting about 8 eggs a week from them. For the first time since I started keeping chickens, I went through the winter without having to buy eggs. Good one Girls!
I gave the pepino in the wicking box on the deck a haircut :
It will be interesting to see if it recovers.
The blueberry in a pot on the deck is flowering :
In the bush, Victoria’s floral emblem, Pink Heath (Epacris impressa), is flowering :
And a large patch of native Nodding Greenhood orchids :
Meanwhile, I’m hoping for spring and some warmer weather.