31 August 2008

Spring is in the Air!

There has been a definite change in the weather in the last week or so. We're pulling jumpers off by 10am, and changing into shorts at 10pm! Nights are cooler, but nothing like what they were a mere few weeks ago. I swear that the sunshine even LOOKS different, and it just FEELS like spring.

A few days ago, the wood ducks that live on the neighbours dam bought their 3 tiny ducklings for a wander across our paddock, and the flowers are covered in bees.

In the spirit of this seasonal change, we've had a very relaxing weekend. After a somewhat rocky start, we spent Saturday at the beach on Bribie Island. The water was still cold, but that didn't stop DD getting as soaking wet as she could without actually immersing herself. We collected shells and rocks worn smooth by the waves, and even managed to get the kite in the air. We were all pleasantly relaxed and exhausted after that, so we came home, had a barbeque dinner, and had an early night.

This morning spring grabbed me at the markets, and I bought up big on fruit trees to add to the orchard. I bought a peachcot (cross between an apricot and a peach, never tasted one before), a yellow Dorset apple (different to the apple I have now), and a Eureka Lemon. I also bought another passionfruit vine to plant in the front garden. This brings my fruit tree total to 20 (I think, I'll have to count them again to be sure!) I've also ordered a pair of kiwi fruit vines, which should arrive in the next few weeks. I'll have to figure out where I'm going to put them though!

We also bought another 30m of hose, and ran it up the back, as watering the garden and fruit trees has become a nightmare. I'm afraid to say that for the most part my garden takes it's chances with water. I water when planting, and sporadically here and there, but mostly my plants have to make do with the rainfall. Unfortunately it's hasn't really 'rained' above a 2 minute sprinkle for a month or more now, so the poor garden is feeling it. Everything is miraculously still growing, but I'm sure it'd be doing better for a little water.

So this afternoon, with DH's help, I watered every tree in the orchard! DH sat on a stool and filled buckets for me (the hose only just reaches the orchard, it won't reach most of the actual trees, and with water restrictions it's supposed to be bucket watering only anyway) while I delivered them to all the trees. It was quite a job, but hopefully we'll see some results in the trees. In reality, we should do it again in a week if it doesn't rain.

I've had a half dozen mulberries off the mulberry tree though, and the peaches are growing and look so cute! We also have a half a dozen baby nectarines, and the citrus trees have all been flowering for the last few weeks. The passionfruit has buds on it (only the black one, not the yellow one yet), and the loofah vine, far from dying, is putting out new shoots and flowers.

Growing things is so exciting! I go up often just to see what our trees are doing, and each new fruit or flower, no matter how small, gives me a real thrill. I can't wait until the orchard is really productive, and we're picking enough fruit to really make a contribution to our meals.

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