Saturday, November 24, 2007

‘Fuyu’ Persimmon

Yeah! My ‘Fuyu’ Persimmon tree finally has ripened fruit.
This is the 4th season for this tree. I had almost given up seeing & tasting persimmons from my very own tree. If you’ve never seen or tasted persimmons, please take time to read this blog. The trees alone are worth growing in your garden. They grow to 30 feet tall & wide but can be kept smaller as fruit trees should. In summer, the foliage is shiny green. The fall leaf color is a beautiful blend of yellow, orange & red tones. The best part, once the trees are mature, is the orange fruit that hangs on the tree. The fruit is noticeable when it is growing during the summer, but it’s best seen when the fall color display is over. The fruit hangs on the tree after the first frosts to finish it’s ripening. The effect is very pretty.
‘Fuyu’ persimmons are squatty shaped like a flatter tomato. The fruit is a very unique taste. The texture is kind of like an apricot but flavored like an apricot-cantaloupe. It’s hard to describe. You can eat them when firm or a little soft.
I love to slice them & serve with a baguette or crackers and a sharp cheese like gorgonzola. The sweet persimmon & tart cheese tastes great together.
I have also used persimmon in cakes. I even cooked them in a Risotto with Gorgonzola. It wasn’t a pretty dish but very tasty. I haven’t tried it yet, but you can dry them too.
If you’re into trying new foods, just look at your local produce store & pick up a ‘Fuyu’ persimmon. You may even want to plant a tree!
Take care,

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

This tends to be a time of year when we nestle into our homes, open our doors and hearts to Family and Friends, and see people a little less harshly than we might usually...
I was thinking the other day...What would these wonderful seasonal holidays be without the gifts brought to it by this delightful industry I work in?
Starting in October, there would be no bales of straw for decorating, no garland of brilliantly colored leaves, no pumpkins, squash and decorative corn swag. As the fairer holiday, Christmas, approaches; the tree, the evergreen boughs and holly would vanish. There would be no pungent fragrant narcissus blooming, no large, brightly colored amyrillis trumpeting their beauty. So much of what brings joy to our hearts during these holidays comes directly from nature herself; adding tremendous beauty and life to our world.
So if the winter tends to get you down. If grey, cloudy skies and continuous rain darken you vision...I invite you to go to one of the many independent garden centers. Get something that reminds us that we are all surrounded by nature and it's beauty. Let that one small plant give you joy. Because before you know it...Spring will be here and the party starts all over.

May each of you have the Happiest of Holidays, filled with love and laughter, and the Warmest of Celebrations with Family and Friends.

Seasons greetings!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The rains have started

Time flies too fast plus I have been busy & lazy.
The dog days of summer were here & gone. I turned around & it is November.
There was a weird storm a few weeks ago & I lost my ‘Negronne’ fig tree & ‘Brooks’ Prune.
There was hail & thunder & lightening, strange weather but not a really bad wind or even a power outage.
Next morning it was clear with the sun peeking out. I looked out my kitchen window and my view was obscured by the leaves & branches of this fig tree.
I thought maybe the downpour had really saturated the huge fig leaves & it was over weighted.
I went outside to check it out & the tree was leaning at a 45 degree angle.
It wasn’t cracked, but pulling itself out of the soil.
I also noticed my ‘Brooks’ prune listed a bit. My house sits at the bottom of a hill. I have strived to improve the drainage but I guess I hadn’t done enough.
It is sad when trees have to be taken down.
As gardeners always say or what I tell my customers, you have a new plant opportunity.
Since putting in the new gravel patio & pathways this summer, I worked around existing plants. The fig was right along the path & had to be trimmed to not over step. Figs are a rambunctious plant to espalier!
Now that the Fig is gone, I will plant a Shrub Dogwood ‘Midwinter Fire’ (Cornus). It will love the extra water that comes down the hill & its’ yellow & red branches will be a pretty accent for winter. This plant needs to be cut totally back ever few years for a new brightly colored winter look. The Dogwood will be fast growing shade for my ‘Lemon Daddy’ Hydrangea. It will need PM shade, next summer.
I also bought a Sundance Mexican Orange (Choisya). I will plant this where the ‘Brooks’ prune tree was. The chartreuse, evergreen foliage will echo the Hydrangea foliage & have flowers with orange-blossom fragrance.
I will add compost to the soil & hopefully improve the drainage to prevent root rot.
I will miss the figs & plums from these trees. I have another fig called ‘Desert King’ which has green fruit with a pink inside. It is a great producer & I sometimes get 2 crops when the late summer & fall is hot. The prunes should be available at the local Farmer’s Market. All & all it is a quiet fall with regular chores in the garden.

Goodbye for now. I’m off to rake up leaves.