We have a few more trees left in pots from the Monbulk cricket club fundraiser in February. The two pears and two crabapples presented a bit of a quandary about where they might go. Practically, the orchard level should continue on from the apples that were planted earlier, but there’s a giant pile of garden junk in the way.
Never mind, we’re all good adapters around here. One of the problem areas of the yard is over on the west fence. A stretch of dirt about 3m wide between the fence and the old sand pit is just a mess. There’s long grass and blackberry and a ton of bidgee widgee growing there. There’s yet another one of Carl’s signature stumps. This one’s a blackwood. The great ugly sand pit box is like a kind of psychological barrier and frankly, an eyesore. We have some French pears, so lets do something French over there instead. You know, crushed stone pathways and rock seats and little strappy-leaved flower plant borders and fruit for the picking and maybe the odd girl in a muslin dress floating around.
Being interested in the least effort possible, we picked a spot that was basically at the same level as the apples and planted the two pears over by the fence there. Easy done, lickety spit. These pears are the brown Beurré Bosc variety.
Of course, now the thing is done and everything has to be made to fit, including the hillside. First step is to cut back the grass so we can see what we’re doing.
We can’t keep any of these little trees (a wattle and two blackwoods) and they’ll have to come out. It’s ironic; when we first arrived we were weeding the sand pit and found a tiny wattle seedling. Oh! So cute! we thought. Save it! we said. So we popped it back in the ground just there. Not realising that the damn things would be popping up absolutely everywhere. Anyhow, there are four more blackwoods over by the trampoline spot, and a cluster of wattles at the other end of the yard, so there’s no need to be precious.
Also, a giant rock. Always with the giant rocks.
Let’s begin! We brought the orchard level over to this area with a piece of string and aligned it to the top of this stake. We’ll take dirt out of the hill and pile it here.
As it turns out, the two pear trees won’t pollinate themselves very well. They do go well with Williams/Bartlett pears though, so we got three of those as a complement.
Pear number three goes in, as close to the fence as is practical and maintaining a uniform distance from the next plant. Every good mathematician knows that with three points on a circle you can find a unique centre, so we bang a stake in at the centre point and keep digging for pear number four. Of course, as luck has it, pear number four goes in the exact spot where the little wattle was, so the whole root ball has to be dug out. Then the giant rock is hovering dangerously close so it gets pulled like a big tooth. Then to top things off there’s a giant root from the blackwood stump also going right through that spot. Sigh.
We are not deterred! Giant rock can go at the centre of the circle as a feature, and a bit of chainsaw action will get that root out and we might as well shorten the stump while we’re here.
Sweet! Completing the circle with pear number five would make things look funny, so he comes out away from the fence and in the process suggests a use for the two remaining crabapples (as guard duty for steps leading down to the bottom level).