It flooded again, yesterday. 3 times now, in a year. It is a very wet Autumn. The soil here is fully saturated. I left my car at the farm yard last night and drove the big farm truck home because the road was flooded. Most embarrassing of all, I got the 4WD farm truck stuck in the mud right outside the house when I tried to reverse it on the road. I forgot to turn the knob on the wheel hub to fully engage 4WD before I tried to rock the truck out of the mud, and well, it manage to dig itself in. Luckily, we got it out after turning the knobs. I was picturing a John Deere pulling the truck out, as I walked to the farm yard to get help…

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All that rocking, and getting stuck in the mud, left some big gash in the ground which could swallow a car up whole. I had to fill it up, so I harvested the potatoes out of the wine barrel, so that I could use those compost to fill up those ugly gash. I’ve got Purple Heart, Desiree and Agria in here. Plenty of Desiree, and only 2 Agria. But they are all good sized potatoes.

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The squiggly swale that snakes around the pear trees.

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And the figure eight around the healthy apples and heritage plums.

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The flood has receded, but at saturation point, the soil just can’t suck up the remaining water that quickly anymore.

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I’ve got some plants from Southern Woods, mainly NZ native to add to the forest garden. NZ Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), 10×10, Outstanding tree with a spreading form, gnarled trunk and profuse red flowers in summer. Excellent coastal specimen and shelter tree. Nectar in January will attract birds and bees. Evergreen. Avoid heavy frosts. Kotukutuku Tree Fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata), 6×3, Small tree with orange-brown papery bark and interesting twisted shape. Largest fuchsia in the world. Purple-red flowers early spring to summer. Fruit/seed from January-March. The fleshy fruit is sweet and tasty. It was made into jams and desserts by the early settlers. Attractive to bees. Semi-deciduous. Frost-tender when young. Makomako Wineberry (Aristotelia serrata), 6×3, Fast-growing, small tree. Rose-coloured flowers in spring with berries, sought by native birds. Good shade tree in sheltered areas. Semi-deciduous. Frost-tender when young. Looks like I’m going to be doing some bird feeding.

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I planted these last Autumn. Ovens Wattle (Acacia pravissima), 4×4, Unusual triangular leaves, yellow flowers in September on a small, spreading, evergreen tree. Fast-growing shelter on dry sites. Tolerates coastal sites. Evergreen. Good frost tolerance. This species is recommended by Kay Baxter as a pioneer species to establish your subtropical planting.

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Sallow Wattle (Acacia floribunda), 6×4, Small, bushy tree with abundant scented yellow flowers. Tolerates wet conditions & coastal sites. Low shelter. Evergreen. Hardy. They were meant to fill in a gap between the Privet hedge.

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Cootamundra  Wattle – Purple (Acacia baileyana ‘Purpurea’), 6×4, Well-known ornamental tree. Foliage colour varies from purple to blue. Abundant yellow flowers in winter provides good bee forage. OK near coast. Evergreen. Hardy. Considering they only come out of tubes, they have grown really well.

Is all acacia nitrogen-fixing? I wonder if nitrogen fixation applies to the entire Genus, and not just specific Species within a Genus?

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Rainfall this week, 36mm. Is this coming Winter going to be dry?

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Firewood is coming in tomorrow.