This is another sandwich of sorts, seen from the window.
In the foreground is the almond tree with green leaves on its upper twigs. The blue string represents my (unsuccessful) attempt to encourage one of its branches to bend lower.
Behind it is the persimmon tree, with flaming foliage.
Behind that is a fig tree which, in contrast, has turned yellow.
The orchard, with its random mix of types of fruit tree, is especially interesting at this time of year.
The orchard is beginning to show some autumn colours.
The main trees that have started to turn are the persimmon, peach, pomegranate and fig trees.
This is fruit from the orchard.
There are all different kinds of apple – small and unripe in some cases – as well as two pears.
It makes for a very colourful bowl.
It wasn’t exactly a parade, Giovanni and me walking through the orchard applying the post-flower spray, but the rain timed itself perfectly: first spots as we finished the mixture.
So that was that. All washed off.
However, we discovered some extremely lively tent caterpillars on a cherry twig as we went by.
Also, when I looked through my new microscope (advance birthday present from Clive) at aphids pre-spray and post-spray, there was a definite air of lethargy about the latter.
The spray takes a lot longer than the half hour or so it had to take proper effect, but maybe we did do some good.
The ground in the orchard which we planted began as bare soil, populated at first by the growth of its inherent seeds.
After a few years these wild anemones arrived, blown in on the wind from the olive grove where they’re well established.
The rain had just stopped and suddenly a mist rolled up like smoke through the orchard.
The photo shows it beginning to clear.
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!