The orchard – or how to feed the local wallaby population…

We’ve had a wonderful time whilst the in-laws have been down (no really, I am one of those strange folk who actually LIKE their inlaws and enjoy their visits – I know, I KNOW… everyone thinks I am crazy). We visited lots of nurseries and they also helped us with stocking up on plants for the beginning of our self-sufficiency plans – plants for our orchard…

So here it is, the official start of The Good Life… (To make you all feel better though, it is still craziness here – whilst typing up this post, Miss E is playing puppydogs and she runs up to me with a soft frisbee in her mouth wanting me to throw it. Yes indeed, I am playing ‘fetch’ with my three year old…)

But back to the orchard, we now have the following.

  • Olives: one each of Mission and Manzanillo. As well as the two mystery olives, which were given to us as a housewarming present (perfect present – yay!). They are apparently good for eating or oil but its leaves are shorter than the leaves on the manzanillo – this is what they look like – maybe someone has some ideas on what they are?

Mystery Olive

  • Plums: Satsuma & Mariposa
  • Cherry: Stella (self-pollinating, but being that the area we live in is a big cherry production area we will probably plant more since we know they do so well).
  • Blueberries: Denise, Brigitta & Blue Rose
  • Apples: Red Fuji, Pink Lady and Lady in the Snow. We also want a Cox’s Orange Pippin, but being as this isn’t the optimum time to plant, we’ll wait and order some bare rooted in Winter from Woodbridge Fruit Trees, as they have some lovely heritage varieties – well worth checking out as they do ship. They also sell lots on dwarfing root stock for those with smaller gardens…
  • Citrus: Lisbon Lemon and Sublime Lime

After planting the two mystery olives, A1 had put up wire cages around them to protect them from the local wallaby population. We’ve realised that they aren’t at all interested in them, so the second two were spared the cage treatment.

A1 has been digging and planting hard, it really is tough work due to our clay soil, a lot of extra preparation for planting – and mulching with pea straw for the plants that like it. Miss E – sometimes known as Little Miss Helpful, or perhaps Little Miss Likes to Play in Dirt, has been helping too…

Little gardener

We left the others unprotected overnight to see how they would fare. Night one. Nothing. Night two, the Pink Lady got stripped bare (that sounds a bit wrong huh??). So A1 dutifully bought more wire and caged all the fruits to protect from the local wallabies.

But as you can see – for the Pink Lady, the damage was done…

Bare pink lady tree

This morning, I went out to check and they had done the same to the Lady in the Snow, even with the cage around it – mind you the cage was narrower on this one, so they may have been able to reach it anyway. You can see the Red Fuji in the background, totally unscathed. I think they just like apples with suggestive names… We’re hoping they recover!

The lemon and lime are still yet to be planted. Though I noticed this morning, that the cute and innocent looking little hoppers have nibbled their way through the top leaves of the lemon as well. Lime is as yet, unscathed.

A1 has also been busy preparing the area where the raised veggie beds are to go – he had to get rid of a dead tree and slash tall grass, but this is the location. Closer to the house, in front of the orchard. The citrus trees will go to the right of here in a more sheltered position to the other orchard plants.

Veggie bed location

We also have a heap of natives to plant which will mostly go at the back of the block, to replace the trees that were cut down for the house site.  So we have some gums and melaleucas, will be lovely to see them take off and attract more birdlife…

We’ve also had an outbreak of something bringing up holes in the grass/dirt – corby grubs perhaps? But I’ve seen no evidence of grubs or anything. Any ideas?

Corby grub holes

And speaking of outbreaks… anyone else having millipede infestations of late? They are all around our eaves trying to get into our house of late – hundreds of them. totally gross. Any ideas on what to do to get rid of them?


Just so you aren’t left with that yucky image in your mind at the end of the post – here is a look at the orchard, not the best photo but the light was crappy!

Mixed fruit orchard



  1. So envious of your start towards Good Life fun! All I am managing atm are a strawberry plant and some golden oregano. Kale and basil definitely gone after the rain and subsequent attack of the killer snails but the mint looks like it might be making a comeback.

    Totally miss owning our own place, very limited as to what we can do here. Already planning the garden for when we build though.

    And nothing wrong with 3yos playing fetch. Mine likes a good belly scratch 😉

    • Gotta love puppydog role playing three years – slightly cleaner and less smelly than a real dog… Although you have both now don’t you!

      • Hi,
        I stumbled upon your site when I googled grubs. Our grass looks exactly like your 3rd picture from the bottom. Did you figure out what it is?

        • Hi Lois,

          Ours was corby grubs… That’s all I know at this point, they seem to have disappeared, and I haven’t been bothered to look up what they actually DO!

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