Having pruned the roses quite steadily for a few weeks to keep them from flowering and also to get some structure in, I have finally let them loose, and see what they can come up with.

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That’s a beautiful bi-colour one.

I ate a Devonshire Quarrendon the other day. There were 2 apples left on the tree, when I checked it, both has fallen, one has been gnawed by a possum, and the other is in good  condition, gave it a good brush on the shirt, and it’s in my mouth, yum! It’s a bit of a ritual for me, a good sniff to make sure it smells good. And then a bite, hoping it is truly ripe. It will then be either chucked away or completely eaten, depending on the edible-ness of the fruit in question.

I thought the Gravenstein were quite ready too! I bought all the ingredients required for making an apple crumble. Unfortunately, when I checked them, they are still quite green, I am still waiting for a bit more yellow come through for ripeness. Just as well, I forgot the vanilla ice cream.

While we were on the topic of apples. My latest plan is to plant a Belgian Fence along the north facing fence. It will run for about 14 metres, at 50cm spacing, would accommodate about 28 trees. It will start off with a columnar crab apple, then every other tree will be a crab apple, just to add interest. Golden Hornet, Gorgeous, Jack Humm, Jelly King, and Wright’s Scarlet, are the crab apples I can get my hands on, all from Edible Garden. I’m starting it up with healthy apple, Monty’s Surprise, Hetlina, Tropicana, Calville Blanc D Hiver, and Fuero Rous. Then connoisseur’s apple, Cox Orange Pippin, Mother, Jonagold, Tydeman’s Late Orange, and Freyberg. Perhaps, the 3 different apple trees by the road too! I am indeed very exited about this whole Belgian Fence thing!

At the same time, I’ll be adding a few more apple varieties to the collection, expanding to the 1700s. I will get scionwood and do my own grafting whenever I can, to save on cost.

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There’s also a slight change of plan for this trellising project, instead of doing a plain cordon, I’m going to do a candelabra. And to spice things up further, at the vertical point for the bottom and middle tier, I’ll be grafting a different variety on! Just to add interest, I’m doing the grapes and cherries on plain cordon already anyway, and there’s a Belgian Fence coming, and this will be a nice template to try out candelabra.

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Woot! Not supposed to be having any grapes this year as I am focused on setting up the plant framework. Pinched off.

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I found this growing where it was. I think its Raspberry Ivory. Might as well dig it up in Winter and put it in a pot. Since I have already paid royalty in its purchase price. I know its not a Llyod George from the pattern of the spines, Lloyd George is ferocious.

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WIP. The 4 new raised beds, the framework stakes have been knocked in. Some of the sides have been put in. I’ll put in the rest in time, slowly. I only need the base level in, in order to fill in a layer of used coffee grounds. The far end would be the strawberry bed, which I planned to do as a project with my dad when mum and dad visits in February. The that other one would be the asparagus bed, which will be wood chip and compost mix. I’ll need to get some hoops for the asparagus bed so that I can throw a black cover on for blanching the asparagus.

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The gladioli is flowering. Yays!

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It was very windy, and chilly windy. Its supposed to be the hottest day anytime this month. I hide out in the greenhouse giving the tomatoes some love. The laterals need pinching out, and the leaders need to be trained up the strings. Look at the Tomaccio!

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Strong flowering arm, that is going to be a really good truss of tomatoes!

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Caesar enjoys spending time in the greenhouse with me too!

I was contemplating about the fencing that will eventually carve out the duck area. An idea came when I was looking at some photos on Toi Toi Manawa, and saw one where the guys were building a fence out of wooden branches. Now, that got me going! Freely available material. I think I can still get my hands on a hell lot of old bamboo canes! Then, inspirations! A living fence! There was a 10 meter strip, that I can do a living fence, at 10-15cm spacing, Elderflowers! These will grow readily from cuttings, they can also be persuaded to go upright. It’s going to be free! Pretty much, the other spaces where it is hard to maintain a living fence, I’ll be using the bamboo canes. The spacing will be just right to keep Caesar out, and the ducks in. I think the ducks will have to wait for another season. Which is just fine.

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I went to the Little River A&P Show today. Its a good little community fun where everyone sort of knew each other or have seen each other somewhere before. Familiar faces all around. I especially enjoy the dog trying to scale the straw bales competition, that’s a lot of fun to watch and plenty of laughter to follow. I might enter my fresh produce for showing next year, it seems easier, and not as challenging as seen on River Cottage show. Hey, I might even beat my supplier and grab first place for strawberries!

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The Orchard Cottage this week. More Tagasaste Tree Lucerne has been planted. This week, we have a low of 3.6dC on Tuesday, followed by a high of 31.8dC on Thursday, and then followed by Southerlies gusting up to 45.1km/h on Friday. Despite the weather forecast a good downpour, we had a miserable 4.1mm. In the end, I had to stake down 3 of my apple trees to keep them standing straight. Tom Putt and Bleinheim Orange had a really good lean. Hopefully the fast growing Tree Lucerne will help to calm the wind.

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