Sunday, March 17, 2013

garden, fruit tree edition

Intoxicated by the climate and potential for growing stuff we'd only ever seen in grocery stores, we've surrounded the house with fruit trees, shrubs and whatever it is that bananas grow on. The planters in front of the house have several citrus and non-citrus trees, and low-growing bushes, all of which have shallow roots (required by the fact that the planting beds sit above the drainage field for the septic system). The front gets tons of sun, which is perfect for the Meyer lemons (left), key limes, Persian limes, peach, pomegranate raspberries and blueberries. They all seem to be growing well, and we've already harvested some lemons.

But, you ask, how do you grow a cold-weather shrub like blueberry in the subtropics?

Our two blueberry plants (Sharpe Blue) and our raspberry (left) are adapted to South Florida's heat, humidity and lack of a cold winter. The raspberry arrived full of leaves, and has just started to flower. The blueberries are nearly leaf-less (the one in the foreground looks a little scraggly here) because of the season, but they've already begun to flower. They should fill out and start producing fruit soon.

The peach (right, with fruit) and pomegranate (left) trees came from Cuba Libre Nursery in Horse Country, who also supplied the blueberry and raspberry bushes. We're using the trees to anchor the larger planter, toward the driveway, while using the bushes to fill out the low (roughly 30" tall) foliage  of the planter closest to the street corner. Ultimately, the plants are intended to work with the coral rocks and carefully sloped soil as an organic and geological foil to the crisp geometry of the house and paving.

The two key lime trees are also bearing fruit. The one toward the back of the big planter has been assaulted by one of the tomato plants, but it is growing well. It will provide a good visual foundation to the back of the planter, and the bright green leaves look good against the silver finish of the house.

In the back yard (not pictured), our papayas are starting to bear fruit and our avocado is in bloom. We're still waiting to see our first efflorescence from the three banana plants and the carambola (star fruit).

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