Story telling from Australia
That was the question I googled this week following a brutal hailstorm that neatly tip pruned all the citrus trees, crushed the blueberries and stripped paint off the back door (we probably should have got a professional painter and we definitely should have used acrylic.)
“Citrus are best pruned little and often.”
“I like to give newly planted citrus a tip prune.”
That’s a relief then.
I’m surprisingly chipper about the whole situation, largely because the lemon, lime and even the struggling grapefruit have clung to their buds with admirable tenacity. Maybe they react better to adversity than to a vague bumbling along at just under par?
My own bumbling was beginning to feel alarmingly like the new normal until several developments in the garden this week swept it aside.
A short section of new fence was installed. Humdrum, I thought; a functional necessity atop the brick wall to help hide a three-storey house that will appear some time next year. I grumbled that it would cut out more light from this shady yard and complained at the need to install it.
But guess what? It’s beautiful.
The back yard looks bigger, more finished somehow. Yes we might lose a bit of light but I’m gradually beginning to rise to the challenge of nurturing plants that might one day thrive in these less than ideal conditions. The fence is painted mellow ‘Jaspar’. I picture the day when tendrils of jasmine will climb through it.
The hibiscus in the front garden has gone too, replaced by a grafted avocado. The excitement of planting the new tree was tempered by the knowledge that avocado trees don’t like getting their feet wet. Poor drainage will quickly kill them.
Thankfully the arrival of this small tree was so eagerly anticipated that I gave due attention to the soil before I planted. I dug in dolomite, gypsum, zinc sulphate and compost; I sprinkled trace elements and formed a mound to stop water pooling.
The hailstorm hit two days later and the rain gauge overflowed, so I can only hope I did enough for that tree to survive.
Hope is the new normal now that spring is just around the corner.
All hail to that!