Last summer I wrote about myself, in the middle of a heatwave of 14 days over 40C and I called it The Aussie Summer Gardener and now there is another, equally rare creature appearing in my garden, for only the second and hopefully the last year. You see, my mother has a peach tree, and every year I bring home some peaches to eat and we put the stones in the compost bin. Somehow the stones end up all over the yard..... in places I have never spread compost.....it must be rats I guess that shift them around....and every year several germinate and I get peach trees coming up everywhere! Usually I dig them up when they are tiny and give them away but every now and then I let them grow......and grow they do.....like Jack and the Beanstalk. I never water them but they never die or look unhappy; they are super duper peach trees and after only maybe 2 or 3 years, when they are as high as the eves or higher, they bear hundreds of the sweetest, juiciest, tastiest, most incredible peaches! This is no joke and I have written about them several times.....and this year, again, they are laden.....and that is the problem!
We live on a hill.....a bloody great big, steep hill.....not a mountain though.....just a hill, called Mt. Osmond......(most of Adelaide is pretty flat so anything sloping is called a mountain!!) Flat land is at a premium at our place though, and we have spent 18 years working to make usable areas out of this hill and one of those little flat spots is around 1/2 of the Hills Hoist clothesline ...... the other 1/2 hangs over the slope...as you can see in the first photo.....so I have to turn the clothesline to reach all the sides.
And guess where one of the peach trees grew so fast I didn't quite realise until it was too late? Yes, right next to the clothesline, under the dripline of the gutterless roof! During winter the tree has no leaves and the branches are light and spring up and keep away from the arms of the Hills Hoist, but once we get towards the end of spring, the branches are laden with leaves and fruit and lean down further and further.....until....I can't turn the clothesline without knocking off some of the peaches! So, you say, why didn't I prune it before we got to this stage....again? Well, you may or may not know that I have been away for 6 weeks.....when I left the tree was still bare.....and I had forgotten all about the problem.....until now! Now I can't stand the idea of wasting about a dozen beautiful peaches for the sake of the washing.....so I have to LEAN precariously over the slope, on tippy toes like a ballerina....which I definitely am not.....or hang all the clothes on one side.....like I did today, in the photo.
One of the advantages of this arrangement is that, in a couple of months, I will be able to start picking the peaches and this will be a lovely treat for me while I try not to get peach juice on the clothes I am putting on the line at the same time as eating a sticky, juicy peach and.....the branches will gradually get lighter until they will one day be fruitless and spring up and away and I will probably forget to prune it again.....so please....if you think of it.....remind me, will you?