Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Snow Kate and the Dwarf Apple Tree

Today as a break from lying on my back watching tv and dreaming of a more exciting life, I planted a dwarf apple tree and some oh-so-pretty flowers in our front yard. It's been a long time coming. This section of the garden has been neglected since we moved in.

Before: Land of the Forgotten

After: Mt. Produty (half produce, half beauty)

Not much to look at now, but I have high hopes. As we have incredibly sandy, good-for-nothing soil, I used an entire bag of manure AND an entire bag of compost.

The tree is a Dwarf "Pink Lady", and is expected to grow 1m wide by 2m tall, perfect for the suburban garden. It will grow just the right size to give us some extra shade and privacy in our front yard. We're working on making our backyard a productive garden (photos to come), so these things are important as the front yard is where we'll spend leisure time.

Name of succulents 

The seedlings around the tree are a succulent called Portulaca (I got the sundial mix which has a range of pink, yellow, white and peach flowers) and will make fantastic ground cover. Even better, as succulents they don't require much water, so wont put too much stress on the apple tree (or myself). They should each grow about 30cm wide and provide protection for the roots of the apple tree. They'll also be really easy to cultivate and grow in other parts of the garden

The Purple seedlings at the back of the picture are Blue Salvias. They're a perennial that grow about 30cm wide and 50-60cm tall. I love them. They'll be a nice backdrop for the apple tree and fill the space at the back. They need full sun to part shade, so it's an ideal spot for them, because in winter, they'll get a lot of sun, and in summer they'll have the shade of the apple tree. Oh, and they're drought tolerant.

I made my purchases at Blackwood Nursery. It is an independently owned, family business. The staff know what they are talking about and don't try too hard to make a sale. There's no website, but they can be found in the Yellow Pages.

The tree itself cost $60. We pay $3.60 per kilo for apples at the farmers markets, so by my calculations we need 18 kilos of apples (or 144 medium sized apples) for the tree to pay for itself. Hmmm.... Lets consider this one an experiment and see how long it takes!

Kate xxx

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