Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fruit trees growing well

Friday, April 21, 2017

My flower plantings today

Hello garden enthusiasts!

Today I got a lot of work done on my garden. Last year I made many mistakes, hopefully this year I've corrected many of them. First, I moved a red rose bush to a sunnier location. Last year I noticed that my gladiolus kept flopping over, giving the garden bed an untidy look. This year I planted eight Sugar Plum gladiolus in two large containers, this will keep them a little more upright and make it easier for me to stake them. I also planted six Salmon Star Oriental Hybrid Lilies also in a container. In the pink rose garden I also have 5 Sarah Bernheart Peonies and one Myrtle Gentry Peony from last year. This year I combined them with four Wizard of Oz Dahlia Balls also in a lovely shade of pink. At the end of the perennial garden, near a more shad part, I planted to bleeding heart bushes. At the very corner I wanted to plant one elephant ear and a few more hostas. I realized I didn't have any elephant ears, but I did have my hostas. Unfortunately, there are still some tulips blooming in that area. I want to wait until I have the elephant ear before planting the hostas at the very end. The roses are called "Touch of Class" and they are a tea rose. One of them I planted up on the mound because I reasoned it was not going to get enough light for the growing season. One the mound I planted some Show N Tell Dinnerplate Dahlias along with ThomasEdison Dinner Plate Dahlias. In one pot I planted one white hymenocallis bulb, surrounding it with an Azalia seed mix. I used the same Northwest Azalia seed mix last year and they turned out absolutely stunning.

Over the spring, I planted a boxwood shrub around my fruit trees. Hidden behind them are about eight hostas. In the middle of the fruit trees are the wonderful white South African calla lilies. These lilies come from the Western part of South Africa, which means they are shade and water tolerant. They are also very popular among wedding boquets. I only wish I had more of them.

We will see how things turn out this year. I've never been a fan of pots, but if I can hide them well and they hold up the tall flowers much better, they maybe they are a keeper.

wizard of oz

First Frost


Islander Dhalia Dinnerplate

Salmond Star Lyly

Show N Tell Dinnerplate Dhalia

Spectabilis Bleeding Hart

Sugar Plum Gladiolus

thomas Edison dahlia

Touch of class rose

white Christmas hosts

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fruit Tree Record

These are the fruit trees I currently have in my backyard

1. Combination Pear Tree
    (Shinseiki Asian Pear /. Swarf Comice Par / Chojuro Asian Pear / 20th Century Asian Pear
    This year I will graft the Old World Pyrus Pear onto this tree. It was grafted March 23rd 2017
20th Century Pear

Shinseki Asian Pear

Comice Pear
Pyrus Pear, good for cooking only. Disease resistant.

Chojuro Asian Pear (Sojuro Pear)

2.  Single Pear Tree, contains only one kind of Pear, the simple Barlett Pear. I will graft the 15th Century French Sarteau Pear on March 23rd 2017.
Poire Sarteau / Sarteau French Pear


3. The back yard has one combination cherry tree including: Stella Cherry, Royal Anne Cherry, and Lapins Cherry. They combination cherry is next to two dwarf Van Cherry trees which require Lapin Cherry for pollination.

Royal Ann Cherry

Stella Cherry

Van Cherry

Lapin Cherry

4. Plum Tree: I currently have only one plum tree: Methley, but I plan on grafting other varieties onto it.
5. I have one Plum/Cherry cross tree, Nadia.
Nadia (a rare cherry/plum hybrid)
6. I have one Gala Apple Tree

Gala apple

7. I have one Red and Delicious Apple Tree

Red and Delicious Apple

Finally, today I rooted three pear scions: Pyrus, Sarteau and and unknown yellow French pear I suspect may be Mespitas (a very old, ugly medieval fruit). I also planted 25 pear seedlings that have been in my fridge over the winter. A lot of work achieved today. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

American Orchards Are Ugly

Dear Reader,

As you know, I love planting multi-grapht espalier fruit trees in my backyard. I plant them first and foremost to produce the kind of fruit our family likes to eat. If one is not interested in growing a certain fruit, or baking with it - I suggest growing something else.

My backyard currently has six trees, including a special Nadia cherry/plumb hybrid. I have a four graft pear tree growing in another part of my years. Graphing, cloning and cross breeding stone fruit trees have far-reaching implications for my tree sculptures, such as biodiversity, food culture, and most importantly the symbiosis of human kind's relation to nature.

ugly non-existant underplanting
In the past, stone fruit is grown for one purpose: what the masses want to buy. That's it. Fruit are picked too early, placed in a dark cool spot to ripen, then put on the shelves. Wrap your minds around this: there are hundreds of varieties of peach, your local supermarket will sell four, maybe five if you are lucky. Wouldn't it be great if we could have one peach tree with six, seven, eight or more varieties of peach on one tree? Wouldn't it be nice if each backyard had at least one multi-graft tree in your backyard?

I love multi-graph espalier fruit trees. An espalier is any tree which has been trained to grow in two dimensions. Espaliers can be pruned to grow first branches low, then grow level by level, to a great height but next to no depth. This mean it it will not shade out other trees, particularly grown on a
fence. As grafted stone fruit

My trees are my art, multigraph espalier trees are a way to express my art. The structure is beautiful, they flower at different times in various shades of white, blue, pink and beige.

For the backyard orchardist (non-commercial) why are American people so hell bent on making their backyard orchards look as ugly as possible? What is so hard about planting small fields of lavender under fruit trees? What is so difficult about planting Dalias, Roses, Azalias or some other beautiful underplanting? The purpose of this blog is to shift common paradigm that space under a fruit tree should be kept clean because many plants grown under a tree will not survive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many plants benefit the tree for many years to come.

I hope we start considering making our little orchards a little more beautiful this spring and summer.