One of the best things about having your birthday in early winter and being a gardener – people give you fruit trees. I now have 7. Not that I’m complaining – I’m absolutely thrilled with the additions! Enough so that I thought they should have their own introduction…

1. My “Oldest” Tree – a Dwarf Valencia Orange.

Ok, so 4 years isn’t that old, but I’ve had it the longest out of all the trees. I love the smell of it and the look of the beautiful white flowers it produces. Unfortunately I haven’t had any oranges yet (despite my initial hopes of making marmalade in the first year I had it… I’m so naive) but I still have high hopes for the tree. In spring the flowers are glorious, then buds form and one by one… they all fall off. I’ve tried different fertilizers, different watering methods, heaps of compost and lots of mulch… but still nothing. After the small fruit buds have fallen off, I throw around the idea in my mind of throwing out the tree and getting a “real fruiter!” But then it starts to flower again… and the smell is great… and it brings in the bees… and it wins me over again for another year.

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Dwarf Valencia Orange

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Orange blossoms

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The buds usually grow a bit larger than pictured

2My Kalamata Olive

A couple of years old now this tree has grown so much! Initially a small cutting, it’s now a miniature tree. Still waiting for it to flower, but at the moment the foliage is just as pleasing. I realise one day I’ll have to move it to the ground, but for now – until I make up my mind about where, it seems quite happy where it is.

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When I first planted the tree compared to now

3. & 4. My New Dwarf “Lots A Lemons” and Dwarf Tahitian Lime

I must admit, I have wanted both of these for quite some time. Given the limited space I have though, I’ve tended to remind myself “you have a citrus tree, just an unproductive one”. So this year when I was given both of these I was over the moon. The “lots a lemons” is a very small, pot friendly type of lemon which I have out in the backyard at the moment.  The lime I’ve put out the front and hopefully it will encourage the orange tree to fruit!

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Lots A Lemon

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Tahitian Lime

5 & 6. My Two Ballerina Apple Trees

Another fantastic thing about birthdays is nursery gift vouchers so you can match companion apple trees which are needed for pollination! Another purchase I’ve put off due to limited space, but this year I couldn’t resist – particularly when I discovered these “ballerina” style apples which grow and fruit in a column shape rather than branching out making them perfect for small spaces for now. I have one green “Bolero” and a red “Waltz” which are a pollinating pair. At this stage I think I’m more excited about the idea of apple blossoms in spring than the actual apples – updates to come…

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7. And Finally – My Bay Tree.

Just a tiny cutting when it first moved in – it has continued to grow, be used for cooking and preserving, and has foliage which looks good throughout the year. All without a smidge of effort on my behalf. I can live with that.

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So there is a glimpse at my small space orchard – mostly unproductive at the moment, but I have high hopes for the future. Even so, at least the flowers and foliage are worth the trouble. Apart from the bay (which I bought), each of these trees was gifted from people who follow my blog – so thank you, thank you, thank you!

My indoor avocado “tree” is still growing strongly too… maybe one day it’ll make it to the list as well, but for now I’ll have to wait for a rather long time.

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