Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The Plan Básico has been submitted to the city for building permission. The architect is working on the Plan de Ejecucíon for plumbing/electrical and the like. So in the meantime, I dream about the garden.
One of the things I´d like to have is an orchard. As already mentioned, there are figs, apples and walnuts already present, although whether or not they´ll survive rehabilitative pruning is unknown. V eats practically no fruit, but he´s got a lemon, an orange and an olive tree, along with 2 apples and a pear in pots that he dotes on. I´d like to have cooking and cider apples, pears, nectarines, lemons and limes (margaritas!) and sour cherries for fruit and pecans and almonds. I´d also like to have raspberries, blueberries, hazelnuts, etc. but being shrubby, I think they´ll be used as dividers or incorporated into hedges.
Now the thing about trees is that they take a long time to produce anything, so it´s important to a) figure out where to put them so that they don´t have to be moved later and can get started growing and b) what kind and where to buy them.
I´ve seen dwarf trees incorporated into cottage/potager gardens within the raised beds, but I wonder if it´s really beneficial to have them in the middle of a cultivated area. Also, from what I read dwarf stock is efficient in terms of space, but semi-dwarf and full sized trees are more long-lived.
photo ruthhallam on flickr
Where space is an issue (and it is) Espalier is often the answer. I´ve always thought it a little like arbor-abuse, but you can get some pretty stunning results. Not sure my skills are up to all that planning, pruning and tieing - but we´ve got nothing but time. There is a 3 foot wall to the east, I wonder if that´s tall enough to use, or maybe trained to form it´s own fencing.
I see 2 potential spots for a small orchard - between the barn and the eastern wall, or off to the west along the creek. Either site would receive full sun and be handy to the house. I wonder how many trees I can get along the eastern edge, and I worry about birds and critters along the western side.
Maybe I´ll just use both.
We have purchased a couple of trees from a place we pass near Lugo on the way home. It seems like pretty standard commercial stuff to me, the surviving pear´s leaves are always droopy, the apple has produced fruit and one standard rose never broke dormancy. I can´t say anything at the big box stores has impressed me either.
But on Infojardin (in Spanish) there was a handy thread about nurseries.
If anyone has any places they´d like to recommend for bareroot trees or fruiting shrubs etc., that will ship to Spain - let me know!
Some links you may find helpful if you´re interested in growing fruit:
Restoring Mayberry - Fences of Fruit Trees
Garden web Fruit Forum
Walden Effect blog 5 part Espalier series