Surprise Persimmon

Don’t you love surprises?

Earlier this week, I was looking out our kitchen window, which faces the garden and tree line behind our house and saw what appeared to be a pair of orange eyes staring at me. 

Maybe it’s just my wild imagination, or the fact that Halloween (the best holiday of the year) is upon us, but it seriously gave me a spook!

There’s an owl that frequents our backyard that we’ve actually seen, so my wild imagination wondered if somehow it had gone Bunnicula on us. Turns out, the two orange “eyes” were actually persimmons!

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On closer inspection, I figured out that we have TWO young persimmon trees along the tree line that I’ve never noticed before. I don’t know if this is just the first year that they’ve fruited or if I’m just oblivious, but I’ve taken this as a huge win for the Jubilee Garden! Things that I didn’t plant or care for just doing their thang. Proof again that God is good, He is faithful, and He always provides (for both us and all the little critters)!

Since there are only a few fruits on these trees (like less than five per tree), I’m assuming that they’re on the order of 10 years old. Most fruit trees take, on average, five years before they begin to produce fruit, and the first few harvests are pretty wimpy. But the American Persimmon (I’m taking a stab in the dark that they’re not the Oriental variety) is a stubborn little fella  and can take 10-15 years to fruit. It’s a good thing I didn’t plant these, because I don’t know if I have that kind of patience. Once they get going, though, it’s hard to get them to stop.

In fact, the American Persimmon has no known insect pests or disease problems. Just another reason why wild natives are awesome! Plus they’re food for birds and other garden friends.

I’ve found a few other wild persimmons in the neighborhood, and had a horrible experience trying to eat the fruit. I don’t know if it was just that the fruit wasn’t ready yet or those particular trees got funk-ified somehow, but the fruit tasted like I was eating sidewalk chalk. Couldn’t get that furry taste out of my mouth for several hours – yuck! According to the NCSU Extension website, the fruits of American Persimmon are supposed to be really sweet when ripe, so maybe I’ll give it another go this year. But with much, much smaller test bites!

Can you spot the Persimmons?

 

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That time I straight up broke my shovel…

I broke a shovel today! I don’t know whether to be angry or somewhat proud of myself for exerting that much force.

RIP shovel!

Im Not Even Mad GIFs | Tenor

I’ve been doing battle with some horrible holly bushes next to our house for the past year. Actually, scratch that, since we moved here. The people who lived in this house before us made some very interesting gardening choices. And by interesting, I mean ridiculous. Like planting a fig tree six feet from the house (it touches the house and has to be pruned every single year), a giant crape myrtle 5 feet from the house (same problem), filling a bed with pebbles WITHOUT lining it with weed blocking fabric first (weed city), and most insanely of all, planting approximately a dozen holly bushes around the house, pretty much right on top of each other.

A well manicured holly is fine, and the berries are great for the birds in wintertime, but seriously these people must have been blissfully ignorant of the plant tags when they planted everything. Like didn’t care about plant spacing AT ALL. I could go on and on about the weirdness around here, but I’ll save you the headache. Let’s just leave it at I’ve been re-designing and correcting their poor choices since Jonah and I got married and I moved in.

This spring (because pregnancy hormones are real), I finally had it with the hollies and decided that I needed to renovate the garden bed next to our garage door since it’s pretty visible from the street. After hacking them to the ground as an attempt to kill them earlier this year, yesterday I started the undertaking of removing the root balls to really put the nail in the coffin.

HOLY COW. Talk about physical labor! The first root ball was maybe 30ish pounds and took me about an hour to get out. The second one ended up being 60 pounds (easily), and even with the help of an awesome new tool I tried – a mattock – I still broke our shovel.

Mattock – part axe, part digger, part awesome.

Needless to say, I was seriously channeling my inner Rosie the Riveter (and I will also be taking some ibuprofen soon):

Massive holly root balls – gnarly!

Rosie the Riveter We Can Do it Poster

The new plan for that bed will be a purple butterfly bush in the center (I had one pop up in our backyard that I’m going to transplant), some coral-hued mums in a semi-circle in front of the butterfly bush, and some pansies (also corals/reds) and dusty millers in front of that. I hope to get that done tomorrow and will post pictures once it’s done!

Little butterfly bush I’m going to transplant (on the right)

 

Craters left behind by the massive root balls

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