Home > Gardening, Living in Italy > Not for the faint-hearted

Not for the faint-hearted

Nashi twig with a white flame of leaf emerging

Nashi twig with white flames of emerging leaf

Only the love of pruning could keep me in the orchard today – not even the duty by itself.

The wind is like a steel blade, slicing you through the midriff.

I’m pruning two trees a day so as hopefully to finish within February. Today it was the big apricot (arguably the finest tree in the orchard) and the nashi (oriental pear) next to it. One difficult and one easy.

I had a lot of sawing and lopping to do above my head for the apricot, while the nashi branches are comfortably accessible.

If our Tunisian handiman were doing this, he’d make much faster progress, but I don’t miss him. He wanted reliable work when he phoned at the beginning of last October, and I said we could offer it if he helped me with Clive at the beginning (setting up contraptions and aids so he could manoeuvre himself about). He declined and we haven’t heard from him since. Such is the wintry blast of illness and disability.

So I bash on, queen of the garden.

The photo is a close-up of a nashi bud which is so far advanced that it’s actually showing little frills of leaf. The shot went horribly wrong because I had to hold the twig to stop it dancing in the wind, but I rather like it as it is!

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