It all started with a lemon tree

The other day I woke up to the smell of spring. The sweet fragrance of blossom heralding spring
and this is the poem that was on my lips. It was a poem that my father would always
say every year on the first day that he could smell spring:

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris
I wonder where the birdie is
The birdie is on the wing
But that’s absurd,
I always thought the wing is on the bird

A terribly absurd poem, however, it is the spring poem and it was an early spring day
after early winter days, it is, I suppose we may well have an early spring.

I bought in readiness for spring the other day from Russell and Deb down at
Kensington Garden Centre on the Corner of Stubbs and Macauley Sts amongst other
things (punnets of leeks, onions, beetroots and lettuces, snowpea and pea seeds), two
blueberry bushes and a lemon tree. Everything has gone into the garden except for
the last two things for a couple of reasons.

our lemon tree waiting to be planted 
The lemon tree in waiting

I will start with the lemon tree. This will be my fifth lemon tree. Yes, that is right.
My fifth. I don’t feel very clever at the moment with gardening when it comes to
lemon trees, or citrus in general, as I have managed to kill, yes, kill four (4) lemon
trees so far and one mandarin and an orange. I look on myself in disgust with this,
yet, I am very stubborn and look at many other gardens and see lemon trees not only
surviving, they are thriving! Surely if I can wing it with everything else in the garden,
then I can do it with the lemon tree. So, hence the fifth lemon tree, and also, the
reticence to plant it; I want to get it right. I now don’t know where to plant it. What
if I plant it in the wrong place? What if I plant it incorrectly? Oh, the stress of it all.
As for the blueberries, they were definitely an impulse buy, all I could think of was
how much I love blueberries and wouldn’t it be wonderful to eat my own (forgetting
about that terrible possum that eats my fruit first leaving me the fertiliser instead…)
and not really thinking about where to plant.

So now I have come to a point where I have realised that it is time to do some
planning. No more winging it. Plan it out. Work with what I have in the garden,
trees, structures, paths, where the kids go, clothes line, sun and shade and then work
out where the gaps are and where these three lovely, productive plants will be best
placed. Today I have spent the morning with the tape measure, pen and pad, jotting
down numbers and words and trying to transcribe these into plan of the yard.

My next step will be once I have found a home for these three plants, and dug the
holes for them, planting them accordingly, will be to fill the rest of the gaps in the
garden getting it “summer ready”. By filling up all of the gaps in the garden with
plants, whether they be vegetable, perennial, annual, natives, shrubs, herbs or trees,
I will be helping the garden to protect itself against dehydrating in the summer heat.
No bare patches.

Other work I have to is the continual weeding (that never goes away) and putting the
weeds into the buckets for “green tea fertiliser”. My fruit trees probably need to be
pruned properly. I saw a segment on Gardening Australia that showed how to do
very clearly, so I am going to watch it again and try to do it properly, with confidence,
as Tino says. I will also get down into my incredibly wonderful native lawn (that
really does look like a lawn now) and pluck some of the plants out of the dense parts
to put out on the edges to encourage it.

So what started with the lemon tree, led to the whole backyard being redesigned.  We removed the sandpit (obsolete now, the old fig - no longer productive) and this opened the yard up for a place for the lemon


Our 5th lemon tree 
Lemon tree now planted
Lemon Tree & new indigenous lawn patch
Lemon tree planted now with the grass planted into the ground around it

I continue to refer to the www.gardenate.com website for my tips of what next to
get for my vegetable garden so that hopefully it will be an abundant vegetable garden
by summer (it has taken me a long time to bring it back from nothing after a year
away), and visit Russell and Deb at Kensington Garden Centre for the supplies and I
recommend you do too to support local businesses and get any good gardening
advice for your garden.

‘Til next time, happy gardening, and go sniff a blossom!

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