Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Beautiful MIstake

I`ve always wanted a garden full of fruit trees, so when I bought this house I immediately started to collect all the fruits I could possibly grow in this inland suburban Charleston,SC garden. My first acquisitions were of as many kinds of citrus as I thought would survive here. I now have an orchard on the west side of yard that is threatening to push the house off its foundation.

Some of the plants were purchased from fruit nurseries while others are seed collected from local gardens. The grafted material from the nurseries such as my satsuma, kumquat or orangequat are now loaded with fruit while the seed grown plants have grown huge and beautiful but who knows when the plants will produce fruit. Now the USDA has put a ban on the movement of citrus along the South Carolina coast, so for a while I had better learn to love what I have because nothing new will be coming along.

This Honan Red persimmon grows near the street in my frontyard planted so its beauty can be seen by all. And eaten by every one! After seeing old persimmon trees decorated in the fall with fruit as bright as lanterns and leaves lacquered Chinese red I thought what a wonderful way to brighten my yard. What I did not know is that everyone's grandmother has a tree back in the country and that they are beloved by all. You would think the grocery stores would be over flowing with them but it was not till after I picked my first one did I learn what a gooey mess the fresh fruit is.

This will probably be my future mistake but I am going to plant an avocado next year. Her name is Joey and she resides in Texas at the moment. She is the product of an extensive on-line search by Anne and myself this past February. We could find all sorts of named varieties that should be hardy enough to grow here but we could not find an on-line source. All this was mentioned to a friend in Texas who immediately went on-line and found a source for Texas shipping only.

Finally this past August he located and purchased a 3- gallon plant that will be delivered next spring when he visits Charleston. Sounds great right? Well about the same time I read about Persea Wilt that is spreading up the coast and has killed 99% of Persea (red bays) trees. Avocado is also a Persea and appears to be susceptible to this Chinese introduction. I plan to plant it even if it becomes another beautiful mistake.


Karen said...

Well, it wouldn't be a garden if there weren't a few mistakes! I used to live in Palo Alto, where persimmon trees were plentiful. People used to bring in their extras by the bushel to work. Many ended up a squishy mess on sidewalks and in backyards, though, I'm afraid. They're so pretty, but they bear so heavily and it's hard to know what to do with them all! Good luck with the avocado.

Jan said...

Your persimmon looks so festive with all the fruit on it. Good luck on the avocado. We have one that is about two years old. No fruit yet, but we are hoping maybe next year.

Always Growing

owen da grower said...

Karen,The fruit will never be a problem, they get picked constantly by the passerby.
Thanks, Owen

owen da grower said...

Jan,The persimmons seem irresistibly to all who walk by.I had planted with the thought that the bare tree with the red fruit would look just wonderfull.
Thanks, Owen