I have begun picking my apples. I have three trees which have been in the garden for about three years now, a Granny Smith, a Gala and a Pink Lady. The other apples are still ripening. I also have a pear tree and a quince, both with fruit ready for harvest.
I picked the Gala apples first. Opening each fruit fly exclusion bag was like opening a surprise gift, not knowing how many apples would be in each bag or whether they would be in good condition. Happily the bags have done a great job and I have nearly 50 Gala apples from my little tree! Apples keep well in the refrigerator but we may dry some with the dehydrator.
The fruit fly exclusion bags, (bought from Green Harvest)are very effective, not only against fruit fly, but codling moth and birds as well! I reuse mine and as it doesn’t rain during the summer they seem to last a couple of years at least. The fruit fly was particularly bad this summer and even though I kept my fruit fly traps (Ceratraps also from Green Harvest) well maintained I have still had fruit fly strike on tomatoes, figs and pawpaw. Many fruit flies have also been drowned in the traps.
Flowering in March
It has been a very long hot summer in Perth, with our first rain since November falling last night. Autumn is only just beginning in the garden and there are still late summer perennial flowers to enjoy like Michaelmas daisies, daylilies, salvias and ageratum. The summer annuals like the orange Cosmos Diablo are also still going strong as are the frangipanis which flower all summer long.
In the vegetable garden the Jerusalem artichokes are in full flower meaning they will soon be ready for harvest. Unlike the globe artichoke the Jerusalem artichoke is related to the sunflower. Their cheery flowers brighten the garden. The basil is continuing to thrive and I pick it for salads and pesto most days, removing the flowers so it won’t bolt to seed. The apples are almost ready, with the trees looking very strange all summer decorated with fruit fly exclusion bags.
In the bush garden there is plenty of colour and nectar for the birds provided by Banksias, some of the Grevilleas and Beaufortia squarossa, a beautiful sight throughout the summer. The red-capped gum and the Silver Princess are flowering and the grove of Euky dwarf (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) trees is in flower too, attracting a little flock of spotted pardalotes.
My pampered pots continue to surprise me with unexpected blessings. I thought my little pots of species cyclamen had died from overwatering as they lost their leaves very soon after I bought them last year but I put them in the shade where they would only receive handwatering once a week or so and they have repaid the neglect they need by returning to life as they should in late summer/early autumn.