Every spring, I find myself surprised that there is so darn much to do in the home orchard. And yet, every year it’s the same. Well, I guess the tasks change as we improve the landscape bit by bit. But feeling like the work will never end, that feeling is the same. Last year we pulled out the grass in the front yard and slowly, an edible landscape has started to take shape. I’ve got a few young pear trees out front now – I will proudly state that I’ve successfully grafted some disease resistant varieties onto the oldest of them. I’m trying not to be fearful of fireblight, which runs rampant where we live. This year, I’ve also put in some quince rootstocks that are now starting to leaf out – some organic orchardists believe one or two quince in an orchard of apples will take the brunt of disease, in effect act like a shield for the rest of the orchard, and thus save the grower from having to use chemicals. We shall see. My most recent acquisitions are a pair of Feijoa sellowiana plants, AKA Pineapple Guava – disease resistant, drought tolerant, yummy homegrown fruits in late fall/winter. What’s not to love?! It is so much fun – the learning never ends, and fantasizing about what to plant in the future has become, without exaggeration, my favorite daydream.
Have you seen the rose photos and videos on my Instagram? Oh my word, this year they’ve all really taken off. Maybe it’s the decent rains we’ve had. Maybe it’s just that these pretties have had enough time to settle in. Awhile back, I had made an agreement with my planterly self that I wouldn’t invest in any more roses (I have a few plants), partly because they are a pure scent indulgence for me, partly because they aren’t a homegrown food source, partly because Lucy the Yellow Lab keeps snagging herself on the canes (I’ve resorted to either caging the bases or snipping off each and every thorn!) and partly because they attract some pests. But this year, seeing how many bees visit the roses, and breathing in that refreshing, inimitable rose scent, my intuitive self tells me that they are infinitely good for the soul – they make me feel really good, more alive even. You must take a look at my New Dawn climbing rose that has taken over our west facing wall. Last year, there was not a single rose on it. But this year, whoa mamma! I swear, Pupusa will trot over there daily and quietly stand for several minutes with her nose in the air, sniffing sniffing sniffing.
Very inspired by roses at the moment, and wouldn’t you know? My latest crafting session was all about them!
Come visit me at the Sizzix Blog today for a full tutorial and several projects using rose themed dies from Sizzix’s newest collection designed by Sharyn Sowell.