For a guy who is passionate about growing his own food, I have surprisingly few fruit trees. My vegetable and herb garden is extensive… and I couldn’t live without that, and I do have a highly productive lemon tree, along with an espaliered hedge of other citrus, an overgrown mango tree, a grape vine, a fig, a mulberry and a few paw paws. But the more I take the quality of the food I eat more seriously, the hungrier I get for more of my own fresh homegrown organic fruit.
I really should have planted more fruit trees when I first planned my garden… my wife will be the first to say ‘I told you so’… but I insisted on creating a garden that expressed a full range of my gardening interests. Out the back beside my vegie patch is the tropical style garden, inspired by my time working in north Queenland. In the front is a low maintenance dryland native garden full of grevillieas, callistemon and such, with a handful of African leptospermum and aloes for added interest. Linking the front and back is a native rainforest theme, something that says a bit about northern NSW where I live. All in all, I’ve been quite happy about the way it has worked… but after five years… well, my views have changed. To put it simply, I’m over it loves!
Change is a good thing right? Well yes… but it also means lots of work! I’ve got a lot of established bamboos, heliconias, palms, and native shrubs to remove to make way for my new dream garden… that’ll take some time. When I consider the number of unfinished house renovation jobs staring at me from every angle… I can’t imagine my announcement of ‘seeing the light of more fruit trees’ going down so well… even when I’m openly admitting that my wife was right in the first place. Oh well, I’ll have to deal with that when I come to it… but in the meantime, I better get on with some planning
Well to start with… I don’t want to go ripping everything up to create some kind of a traditional orchard with rows of fruit trees. Much of the original themes will remain I think. What I hope to do is simply craft a few sunny gaps where I can slot in a handful of selected fruit trees that will visually tie in with existing planting themes. I’ve been to gardens where this has been done with great success so I’m confident it will work here.
In the tropical garden, I’m thinking the glossy foliage of lychee, avocado, jackfruit should tie in well. In the native garden, I’m hoping the colours of pomegranate and persimmon will fit the bill. At the side of the house, I’m looking to jaboticaba, feijoa and cherry guava to blend with the native rainforest … and since they share a fairly upright form, they shouldn’t take up too much space. If you’d like to offer me some of your ideas… please do comment below, they will be very welcome.
In the meantime, I’m fired up and ready to get on with my edible garden upgrade… once I’ve finished the painting in the lounge room, put up the shelf in the bathroom, finish the tiles in the loo… repaired the lock on the front door…