DSC01970Gardening is one of my great pleasures, and roses are essential to every garden I’ve planted. Moving to a cooler climatic zone here in the mountains of Virginia meant I could grow English roses more easily, and they were the first perennials I put in the ground, right after I finished planting the apple trees.

We planted six heirloom apple varieties, two cherries, three figs, a pomegranate and a Korean persimmon, all from the wonderful local Edible Landscaping. We’ll add some more figs and add to the existing peach trees. We’ll also add some native persimmons and paw-paws in the coming year. We’re following the orcharding advice of Michael Phillips’s book The Holistic Orchard.

We also planted four varieties of blueberries, to extend the picking season for our favorite fruit. Our strawberries did quite well for their first year. Our vegetable garden produced well in the spring, but the summer crops were disappointing because of our unseasonable raining spring and summer. Tomatoes did produce plenty, despite a brief attack by some rogue chickens. And I have too much squash on hand.


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