This is absolutely my most favourite time of year in the garden as you can get so much done! Since we came back from our European Tour (which was utterly fantastic by the way), we have had the options of heatwave or heavy rainstorm which have not made for good gardening.
However last Sunday we managed to get into the garden for the entire day, so could get engrossed in pulling out all the weeds, cutting the grass, spraying the driveways, clearing fallen tree limbs and generally tidying up. I have to admit, I do feel much of my time in the garden is spent tidying up these days rather than actually doing anything constructive. Unfortunately my 'low maintenance' garden beds have turned out to be anything but and even pebbled driveways need serious attention to keep them looking weed-free.
Our fruit trees have grown so much since we moved to the house, that the best fruit is now so high up in the trees we can't reach it! The apricot and nectarine have now been trimmed and I plan to do the plum and peach next week so I can fit all the branches in our green bin (that gets collected weekly). I am also trying to thin out the trees a bit so that the fruit gets a better chance to ripen, I'd rather have less fruit but better quality next year.
Since the lemon tree had a severe prune (read more here), it is looking really good and we even have plenty of little lemons growing, they should be ready in about June or July.
You may recall Dog A L'Orange ate some of our olive trees last year (read here for more), so we have now got round to replacing them. I bought 2 new olive trees and we placed our potted olive into the ground so it can grow bigger.
The olive trees are running along the side of our 'Italian Courtyard' and when they grow a bit more should screen out the neighbour's house and sheds. I feel more confident with the olives than our photinia hedge, as at least the olives already planted have double in size over the last year.
Talking of photinia hedge, I bought a couple of mature plants to fill a couple of gaps that have appeared in the hedge, Mr L'Orange helped dig holes for them.
We also put in some more Stella Bellas into the front garden bed and added some yellow Dahlias to continue the relaxing yellow theme in the beds. For the area next to the front door, I have planted two azaleas, which are a dark pink and white colour, fingers crossed they will grow well in this spot. It is a bit shady, however there is another big azalea bush near by so the spot can't be too terrible for them to grow.