I described buying Olive Trees a few years back, and how I need to learn to prune them. They have all grown the wrong sort of branches. Tall sticky up ones that aren’t attractive. The centre of the trees have little foliage. I am going to try air Layering a branch each year from each tree.
Instead of thinking I am pruning, and wasting these branches, I am going to experiment with training them when they root and establish. I may end up with a very quick Olive Grove. It also means I can shape these trees. Bring the canopy lower and get these first five more like a bushy pleached hedge. I am studying them carefully at the moment, and working out a plan.
I also have an orchard of very old apple varieties in France. Many of these trees are coming to the end of their life. They are all very tall as well. My plan there is to regrow the orchard. Preserve the varieties and the Pear Tree.
Then what I plan to do is regrow them as Espalier Trees on a structure. The French are superb at doing this. I pass a gentleman’s Potager and admire his skills at this type of growing. I am going to pay him a visit, and ask Him to come and advise me on how to set up the new trellises and show me how to grow the new trees. I don’t want to be clambering up ladders into my Eighties. In approximately five years I should be able to have some excellent apples to pick from the ground.
I also have a Japanese Maple that is unruly. I am going to try air Layering the branches I was thinking of cutting back, to see if I can Bonsai them. I love this little tree it was a gift many years ago. I would like to try to grow more of them.
The next obvious thing are Roses... and Camellias. I see the most gorgeous camellias in peoples gardens. I am going to knock on their door and ask if I can air layer some cuttings. I am happy to pay a fiver for the privilege. Perhaps they would want to put the money to Shelter Box or something.
I have this Bizarre sense my Olive trees represent different Contnents of the World. I am not sure which is which, but the one by my French doors has been restrained since before Christmas. The gales were making it come loose from the ground, and it was beginning to lean over too much. A stretch elastic pink belt came in handy.
Now I feel I need to do the same with the centre tree. I wonder if that is Europe? I thought the one by the French door might have been America, but yesterday, I thought perhaps it’s Russia! They have enough sanctions to get straightened up economically. Besides I like the idea of Russia at my back door! I loved going there.
I am still treasuring my visits to Museums and Art galleries. Coming from a tiny Island that is nine miles long, and five miles wide, it’s mind blowing to get my head around how big Russia is. I really do want to go back and see more Monasteries. I want to go to Old Novgorod outside St Petersburg. I want to go to a lot of museums and galleries. I want to go on the new Silk Road when it opens, all the way to Japan.