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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, March 24, 2006

yard tour - 2

The yard tour continues. Around behind the house our ageing swing-set is starting to gather a little rust and atmospheric grime. This is partly because it is not used as much as its companion piece of equipment – a trampoline. This is well used by our gruntmonkeys (grandchildren) and their companions of all ages.

On the edge of the slope behind the trampoline there is smallish pear tree – about 8 feet – that has already bloomed and put on leaves. Although I don’t remember it being of dwarf rootstock, it hasn’t grown very tall compared to others I have seen. This tree was originally planted on the bedroom end of the house with another variety of pear. Its companion passed from the scene of growth-dom, so I moved this one to the back when I planted the hazelnuts on that side. It has produced pears every year, in fact so many last year that some of the limbs were touching the ground. I must remember to pluck all but a few from each limb this year – this way the pears are bigger and it’s not as much strain on the limbs.

At the corner of the house stands my largest and oldest fig tree. It is at least 12 ft. tall and even bigger than that in its limb spread. It is in the early processes of leaving – or would that be leafing – anyway, it’s starting to put on leaves. This tree has an annoying habit. After putting on leaves and growing a while, it puts on green figs and they grow to full size and just hang there and look back at me when I check them for ripeness. This goes on for several weeks and suddenly they all decide to ripen at the same time – almost like a ripeness whistle is blown. The figs are eaten fresh, dried or can be made into preserves – it is another fruit that doesn’t ship well.

Then down the slope is where my muscadine vines are ensconced. For any not familiar with muscadines, they are defined as being a grape of the southern U.S., having dull purple, thick-skinned musky fruit and being the origin of many grape varieties. That is straight out of the dictionary but there are several colors and sizes of this fruit. I have 7 of these vines up on poles and wires. Three of these are of the variety ‘Jumbo’ and are large and such deep purple that they are almost black when ripe.

Two more of the vines produce grapes that are a little smaller, bronze in color and are very sweet. Two more varieties are above these on the slope, one produces a small dark purple fruit and the other color is sort of reddish. These grapes can be used for fresh eating, making jelly and some folks even make wine out of the juice.

The next row up the slope is one of hazelnuts – five that were given to me by my uncle from Mississippi. They have grown to a height of about 10 ft. and have been producing nuts for about 3 yrs. The nuts are small, but very tasty. Their habit of sprouting from the roots requires yearly pruning or the tree will just go to limbs with less nuts.

Just above the hazelnuts is the blueberry patch that makes my taste buds and me very happy. The patch is in three rows, the bottom row has 8 bushes, the next up has 7 and the top row has 6. All these are doing very well except one on the center row that seems about ready to depart its life of berry producing. These 21 bushes added to the other 29 comes up to 50 plants and hence the name of my blog – blueberrypatch. In fact, I could call this little hill I live on blueberry hill.

Between the backside of my driveway and the blueberries is the veggie garden area. It is made up of four terraced beds about 35 feet long, each wide enough for two rows. There are two small beds adjoining these in which I plant flowers – zinnias and marigolds – or the odd veggie or two. My main four veggies every year are tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and okra.

Just outside the garage end kitchen window are two thornless blackberries that are doing very well and one rugosa rose. The rose is for producing rose hips but I have been very disappointed with its production and this year is most likely its last chance. Hopefully the rose will not read this missive, I do not want to unduly worry the plant, but it is going to have put up or shut up – basically it’s roots will bite the air.

These plants I work with are a blessing to me and show the amazing way God created our world and its resident plants and trees. I’ve learned many things about these natural growths, and one of them is how much I don’t know. Just watching them grow and produce as God designed them keeps me mostly in constant awe. ec

8 Comments:

Blogger B.J.W. said...

You are so blessed to have this beauty surrounding you, and ilove the name Bueberry Hill, would love to see some pictures if you could put them on your blog, Betty

3/24/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger madcapmum said...

It's roots will bite the air? You're a funny man this morning!

3/24/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

If you can download photos into a file, you then can press the 'add image' icon on your 'create a post'. Find the photo in the file, and bring it up on the Blogger 'upload image' formatter... I had to be shown many times how to do it, though. Once you learn, you will be eager to share all your specimens.

3/24/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aiming at Proverbs 31 said...

The comment about your pear tree in bloom almost has me jealous. My crocuses just started blooming- not even a hint of a bud on the pear tree or any other tree yet. Isn't God good to provide continual season change so that we always have something to look forward to. Diane from Idaho

3/24/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger adannells said...

It sounds like you are blessed with a beautiful yard! My parents have a little orchard that has a grapevine, cherry trees, asian pear trees, apple pear trees, two kinds of plum trees, apple trees and fig trees. I know exactly what you mean about the figs ripening all at once. I don't really like fresh figd because they are so sweet, but I do like dried figs.

3/24/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

betty white - It is a blessing to just see them grow and produce.

MCM - Sometimes odd things occur to me, haven't you noticed? :):)

bonita - My niece works with such things and maybe the next time she is in town I can get her to show me.

AAP 31 - Spring is such a charge to me, to see everything coming back to life. Also such a parallel of the changes He can bring about in our lives if we will allow Him.

adannells - When my Dad was alive, he would always show me all the fruit trees he had and how each one produced the last year. It was always a part of the visit I looked forward to. ec

3/25/2006 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger itsboopchile said...

Gardening is behind me. What I have today is just growing without my help. My doctor said sit down with a glass of lemonade and tell others what to do with the flowers!!
Your place as you decribed it seems almost Heavenly.
I am from the south, now the north, and my childhood was fig trees, gardenias, wisteria, passion vines, paw paw, tulip, and magnolia trees, and on and on. Years and years ago.
May you enjoy yours for a long time.
See you, Betty G

3/28/2006 01:04:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

boopchile - My veggie garden is usually more trouble than all the other bushes and trees put together. I like things that I don't have to baby along. My figs got nipped by the frost the other night - they will come back but it will take them a little longer. ec

3/28/2006 03:38:00 PM  

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