Gardener Holding Beans | Wikipedia


Having mentioned the subject of trees last week, we said that we should look into fruit trees in general this week.

Those of us from Northern climates just love the thought of our own Orange and Lemon trees, it always seems so exotic to be harvesting our own citrus fruit. All of these are well on their way to ripening now and even more so if for example you have a ‘perpetual’ Lemon tree which means that it has flowers, green fruit and already ripening fruit at any one time and I think I have mentioned this before, that Lemons stay just as fresh on the tree as in the fruit bowl so just leave them on the tree until you really need one.

There are areas of this island where Orange and Lemon trees find it difficult to survive the really strong northerly winds unless these are planted in a sheltered spot fully south facing. There are many varieties of these fruit trees and some early Orange, Manderine and the likes are often ripe well before Christmas whilst others are not ripe for picking until well into the month of May so be sure to enquire at the garden centre where you purchase these trees which variety they are.


Many trees are well established in pots, often with a picture of what they are. These can be transplated as soon as the weather cools down and there are frequent rains. Be sure to dig a hole large enough to take the whole pot of roots but never pile soil up above the level it already is around the trunk. Also at this time of planting be sure to settle in three or four supporting stalks to tie the young tree to and avoid it being rocked about in the high winter winds.

Known as ‘wind rock’ or sometimes ‘root rock’ this can really unsettle a newly transplanted young tree. Just be sure not to strangle the tender trunk with tight string: just some horizontal cross bars well secured for a couple of years. Also keep a little well weeded patch around the foot of the tree where it can be watered when needs be and fertilised . So good luck with your fruit trees.

There are those trees that can be found all over the island like Almond and Loquat (Nispero). The Nispero is an evergreen with large leaves that are untidying the garden all year round. I don’t find the root down in the compost heap either so I do my best to sweep them up and bin them during the summer months when we are not allowed to have bonfires.

This local fruit is mother of the early in the year ripening fruits which you either like or don’t like beeause there is just that one little bite of sweet flesh and the rest is all large brown stones, sometimes three or four of them. Now every one of these stones that finds its way into the ground will germinate so there will be no need to go off buying another Nispero if you already have one near by.


Now, according to my local gardening books it really is time to plant the seeds of what we consider summer vegetables: Peas, Beans, Broad Beans, and all the salads. lt really is an upside down planting season compared with the northern climate when we were finishing harvesting and here we are planting the garden up.

Bulbs can be seen on some supermarket gardening shelves which is an indication as any that it really is time to start planting up bulbs. Hyacinth, the Daffodil family and even Jonquils.

All of these are winter flowering bulbs and as we rarely suffer extreme ground frost they seem to know no winter which we all admit is one of the things we most like about the so called winter months. We find we can enjoy working in the garden far more from now onwards than we ever do during the heat of the summer months.