35/52: an addition to my mini orchard

Why on earth has it taken me this long to actually buy and plant an apricot tree? We’ve been living here for 28 years; you’d think I would have done it a little earlier than this.
However, in my defence, we have been busy raising children and landscaping and extending and working and living and travelling, and after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Moorpark apricot tree

Anyway, at last we have done it. I adore apricot jam, so we purchased a Moorpark apricot tree, which I believe is good for jam-making. I was all set to buy a bare-rooted tree, but the only Moorpark one available was a potted one, which, at about $45, cost an extra $18.

   somewhat potbound

Then we discovered that perhaps it had been in a pot a little too long, as it was quite root-bound, requiring a fair bit of teasing and trimming of the roots prior to planting. My trusty husband is the planter of trees in our family, with his wonderful digging skills. It’s lovely having my own personal labourer in the garden at times like this.

my trusty labourer

I wonder how many years we shall have to wait until fruit appears. Although I’ve waited so many years to plant this apricot tree, now that it’s actually in the ground I am suddenly impatient for produce!

the waiting game begins

34/52: first plum blossom for the year

   How many trees does it take to make an orchard?

I’ve decided that we have a mini orchard on our property of almost one third of an acre, as it consists of:

* three plum trees, the first of which was transplanted from my parents’ house many years ago, with the subsequent two a result of self-seeding,


blossoms of which have just appeared,


* two blueberry plants, yet to fruit, only planted 15 months ago,


* two lemon trees of different varieties,

* one kaffir lime tree, fantastic for using the leaves in Thai cooking, with the fruit as a bonus,


* one self-sown peach tree, which last year gave me a few peaches,


… and next week you will read about the latest addition to the fruiting family.

And no, it is nothing to do with either a partridge or a pear tree.

33/52: happy blogging anniversary to me

Isn’t that sweet: WordPress just sent me a “Happy Anniversary” notification to commemorate the fact that I registered as a blogger here two years ago.

Part of the reason I started was to chronicle our round-the-world trip in 2011, which prompted the commencement of travels with princess and quiquinou.


Moulin Rouge

I decided that princessprattles would be based largely on my garden in 2012, when I undertook the massive commitment to blog every day for the whole year, which, 366 days later, I had achieved. The blog extended to include my house as well as the garden and my cats at that stage.


I added karaoke kool kats.com, an occasional blog about our Saturday night karaoke gig, which hardly anyone looks at, which probably shows that regular, consistent blogging is more likely to attract views.

Happy Kool KatsA finite blog about my week’s trip to Central Australia, princess wonderland in alice, covered my holiday with my French friend Leslye, allowing  me to showcase the dramatic scenery and colour of the Red Centre.

Clouds above The Rock Tour

gecko blends with the rocksSpreading myself even more thinly, I embarked on scootin’ sandi, reliving some motorcycle riding, along with Calligraphy for Christ’s Sake.

John 21 19b

This year I started princess pop psychology, but am finding it difficult to keep up with all these blogs.

What to do? I’m still searching for my niche. Perhaps I need to write more regularly on each of my blogs? And who do we write for? Ourselves? Others? It varies for me. I am happy to keep an electronic record of my garden and other aspects of my life, and if a few people get enjoyment out of it, it’s a bonus.

Now that I am only committing to blog weekly on princess prattles, I have honed this blog into two things I love: my garden and my cats.

cats as bookends

32/366: dad’s daffodils live on

Daffodils have always reminded me of my dear departed Dad, as he was very fond of bulbs. I think part of this stemmed from his Scottish heritage (my maiden name is Reid), as it is a very cost-effective way of having flowers, particularly compared with annuals. Not only do they come up every year, but they multiply, and that is very thrifty!


I, too, carry this gene, and you can see it often in my recycling ways, saving money and being a creative outlet as well.

budding daffodil


Last year I wrote about a family tradition, whereby Dad would always cut the first daffodils and place them in the blue vase on the mantelpiece. I inherited that vase, and have emulated that habit, except for last year when I couldn’t find the vase. At least I had photos of it so I didn’t mind too much, and blogging about it seemed to satisfy the urge to continue the tradition.

To my delight, while my husband and I were cleaning out and re-organising the garage earlier this year, I found the vase, so the daffodil tradition has been happily reinstated.

   the daffodil tradition 2013