5 June 2016

We have ten new trees on the Bloch now after a frenzy of planting over two weekends.  Each tree has a wire guard to protect it from kangaroos and other animals that may be grazing in the paddock.  Today I put in the nectarine and apple, Christmas presents that we finally brought up from Melbourne, and that are quite a bit bigger than any of the other trees I have planted to date.  The oak and plums were raised from seed, the pecan and maple trees less than a metre tall.  It will take years for these trees to mature and provide any shade or fruit.  No matter, we will be patient and enjoy the journey.  There is a Cork Oak in Norm’s corner and another liquid amber in the North West corner that has been cleared of blackberries now.  This soil was heavily clay, poor quality and difficult to dig.  I’m not sure that the liquid amber will thrive.

The veggie patch has a whole new winter crop – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and beetroot.  I planted green manure on one of the 4 sections of the patch as an experiment. The soil in the patch looks fantastic.  I spent some time preparing the patch, using composts made onsite and some bought compost because I did not have quite enough.  There is no emergence of blackberry shoots, and I wonder if the constant cutting of new growth has killed the roots below and we are free of them in this patch.  Spring will tell us how successful we have been.

In the meantime, Eug has once again hired the brush cutter and slashed away at the blackberries – this time at the Northern boundary.  In one weekend he had slashed about two thirds of the boundary.  The blackberries span an even greater width than the Southern boundary, and there are trees, fallen branches and old sticks to battle with.  It’s a mess right now as you can see from this photo.

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The cuttings need to be raked into piles and dried a bit before we can burn off.  This is the quickest way of getting rid of them, even though not the most environmentally friendly. It’s amazing how much we can now see of the Bloch from the road above.  There is now no longer any privacy!

The enormous atlas cedar that was covered in blackberries at its base has shed a limb which is resting up against the trunk.  I think it needs to be made safe, its high branches to be cut and cut at the trunk at the half way mark. This photo partly shows its fallen limbs.

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