Have some photos from this past weekend:
Frankenpear! I am a little worried about this guy. Ok, not about this part exactly, but you see all those nice fat buds getting ready to open?
Here's a different angle where you can see the one branch (up front) that is lagging way behind. It's the variety that got grafted on right at the top, and I suspect that means it's getting the last share of nutrients coming up from the roots, so it's a little slow and sad. This winter I will have to read up on caring for combination trees and keeping varieties in balance. (The apple has the opposite problem; the Gravenstein branch wants to outperform all the others.)
Starting seeds inside! Next year I will also have a better setup for this than just plunking them in the empty south bedroom. Tomatoes (a canning variety and a mixed heirloom packet for the fun of gambling) and bell peppers (a variety I picked for having short seasons).
So that "buying more things" problem. Native plants are on sale at City People's this month! This little guy is a salal, a shrub native to local woodlands. They remain pretty small, almost groundcover-size, if they have a lot of sun; this one and his match will probably be itty for at least a few years, before the apple between them bulks up enough to provide shade.
Speaking of the apple, budding! Yay!
Another native! Red-flowering currant, which *does* like sun, and should grow into a big, happy, productive thornbush, covered in flowers that bees and hummingbirds like, and later teensy fruit that either I'll eat or the birds will. The nice thing about having a one-story house is that it doesn't shade much of the yard; even on the north side of the house only a few feet get blocked out as "shady all the time." The rest gets... well, as much sun as we get.
Not native at all: a goumi! This will also wind up being a bush with loads of berries on it, apparently good for fresh eating or for making preserves. I love the fact that I can buy all these fruiting plants that are things I've never eaten because they don't commercialize (read: grow in monoculture & ship long distances) well. Since this little monster is pretty sturdy and setting a nice crop of blooms right now, I'm hopeful for fruit this year.
And finally a mystery! Mom, I'm hoping you know the answer to this one. What am I looking at here? Obviously the little guys in the back are weeds, but in front of them there's the red spiky thing and the green broad-leafed thing which have both shown up in the bed at the south of the house, presumably from bulbs, and I am pants at recognizing perennials by foliage instead of by flower.
...Oh wait, I'm not quite done talking. This post on permaculture guilding for trees and shrubs looks really exciting and I want to make more of an effort to do that with my tiny proto-orchard. I sort of started it without knowing what it was called this past weekend, just in sowing some herb seeds into the bare spots around my fruit trees (did you know chamomile seed is barely more substantial than dust? seriously, it makes carrot seeds look hefty), but now I want to read up on it and put in some deliberately chosen plants that will be extra helpful.
WHY DO I EVER HAVE TO COME INSIDE.