Delusions of Grandeur, Or The Backyard Orchard

Well, I finished reading Grow A Little Fruit Tree. It was a great book, and now I am fully armed with the knowledge to create and manage my very own home orchard. And that, my friends, is the problem. I bit the bullet and placed my tree order today… and I went for broke. Only figuratively, since I actually got a really good deal – I ordered from Gurneys (don’t judge me) and all of their trees were on sale, plus I got $50 off my total. So, a really good deal. But now I’m committed. I ordered the following –

2 American persimmons

2 American hazelnuts

1 Gala apple

1 Fuji apple

1 Golden Delicious apple

Lost. My. Mind. Slightly-less-than-quarter-acre lot. I will be playing tetris with edibles. And I have to really embrace the aggressive pruning techniques advocated in the book (which, as the author admits, can be emotionally difficult to do – the first cut essentially decapitates the tree! Talk about a leap of faith). But if I don’t, we’ll probably be doomed to live in a thicket of overgrown trees and drowning in rotting fruit. So how’s that for a dichotomy between success and failure for you?

But really, I’m okay. No buyer’s remorse, though I have seriously bitten off a lot with the garden this year. No one is going to give me the life I want, so I’m going to build it. And I’m going to make time for the garden, and spending time with my menfolk in the garden, and cut out the noise that doesn’t matter. So maybe I’m just biting the fruit that I’m looking for.

Garden Planning – 2015

Spoiler alert – this is the year I lose my mind. It will be the very first year of our adult lives where we have our own yard and garden space, right where we live. I have big plans for our slightly-less-than-quarter-acre lot. Observe –

For the vegetable/fruit beds –

Jacob’s Cattle beans
Envy edameme
Gonzales mini cabbage
Boston Pickling cucumber
Lacinato kale
Lancelot leeks
Evergreen Bunching onions
Southport Red Globe onions
Valencia onions
Lincoln Garden park
Early Jalapeno peppers
King of the North peppers
Jack Be Little pumpkins
Small Sugar pumpkins
Ronde de Nice squash
Gold Nugget tomatoes
Tiny Tim tomatoes
Jubilee Bush watermelon
Yukon Gold potatoes
Bristol Black raspberries
Mara de Bois strawberries
Friendship blueberries

Herb/flower beds –

Grandpa Otts morning glory
Patriot morning glory
Valerian
St. John’s Wort
Italian Large Leaf basil
Caraway
Black cumin
Compatto dill
Citronella lemon balm
Marjoram
Green oregano
Flat Leaf parsley
Rosemary
White sage
French thyme

And if that isn’t enough crazy, I’m adding fruit and nut trees to the mix – as yet undecided varieties of apple, American persimmon and hazelnut. Yes, you read that correctly. I just started reading Grow A Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees by Ann Ralph. It’s all about keeping standard sized fruit trees at a manageable (around six feet) height with proper pruning and maintenance. Which considerably opens up the varieties one can consider, since only limited varieties are available as dwarf, semi-dwarf or columnar. It’s so good, I can’t put it down. I’m a convert to the method and I haven’t even finished the book yet. So yes – in addition to multiple vegetable, fruit, flower and herb beds, I’ll be adding a tiny orchard this year as well. If I’m going to do something, I do it. 🙂 Only a few weeks and we’ll be getting the first seeds started!