30 April 2014

That insane lady up the valley

Stu will attest to the fact that I frequently get distracted. After raking the grass from The Big Mow yesterday, I gathered four wheelbarrow loads and filled the compost bins in no time at all. Realising that the remainder of the cut grass would have to be left to dry in the sun on the paddocks, I wandered over to our plum grove. We have a collection of young self-sown plum trees in the middle paddock. Before we left four years ago, I thinned them out in the hope that they would amount to something by the time we returned. They are now even more important because two of our neighbour's plum trees have fallen over and there is only one remaining which leans precariously over the driveway on a 45 degree angle! So you can imagine how happy I was to see them blossoming over recent weeks, then to see tiny fruit starting to form on them yesterday! In fact, I was SO happy that I burst into conversation with them. Suddenly I felt a shadow nearby and turned to find a local Italian man watching me. This man regularly walks up the valley so we know him well and I decided honesty was the best way. "I was talking to my trees", I blurted. Luckily this man is a spiritual sort of person. "Of course! It is important to talk to trees!", he replied. Allied in our shared love of nature, I took the opportunity to ask him if he knew anything about pruning plum trees. He explained that the tree should be kept short and developed into an open wineglass shape. Then he showed me where to cut on one of the trees. Even though it is too late for pruning (it means I will lose a lot of this year's fruit), I decided to do it anyway in the interest of future productivity. We now have half a plum grove pruned and I will get to the other half in the next few days.


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