, shrubs, and vines:
Our mulberry tree was a bonsai that rooted through its pot. It's way too close to the house, but I prune it heavily to keep it from being a danger. It produces hordes of berries every year, and I freeze them.
Our two citrus trees were a puzzle to me for a while until I asked a friend who grows citrus. The one bearing yellow fruits is called konatsu
and the one with orange fruits is called Shimanto bushukan
. The former is eaten sliced and peeled with the white pith left on, the latter is picked green and used like a lime, usually squeezed over grilled fish. Personally I like the bushukan juice in soda water
with salt as a summer power drink.
Our beloved kumquat tree, called kinkan
in Japanese. My son loves picking and eating them straight off the tree, and I enjoy them too. They also make a terrific marmalade.
Our chestnut tree. It makes wonderful chestnuts that are large and sweet. The only problem is it has grown over the outbuilding and drops leaves and chestnuts onto the roof, which has been causing a lot of clogged gutters and spawning mosquitoes. I am pruning back the neighboring persimmon tree so that they can share the light and grow straight in the future (if they survive).
A plum tree. I pruned it heavily this year for the same reason as above - it was causing clogged gutters. We'll see if it survives. The fruit
was quite sour anyway, so honestly I'm not terribly sad if it's a lost cause.
The mate to the plum tree, it needs attention. It's currently hosting our chayote vine growth and has a lot of twisted and broken branches as a result. It barely gets enough
light in this corner to flower, but somehow manages almost every year to produce fruit.
Our chayote vines. Last year we had over 150 chayotes, I pulled some of the vines early in the season this year though, so we didn't get as many... but honestly it's hard to use 150 chayotes in a year anyway.
Our pawpaw tree. I was amazed that we had one here... as it's neither native
nor popular here. The tree only produces 3-6 fruit a year, and none of us really like them.
Our grape vine used to produce quite a few tiny grapes when I first moved here, but it got devastated in a typhoon. I found it growing up a tree the other year, surprised that it had come back, and I trained it back up our car shade. Hopefully it will produce for us again next year.
We had a peach tree that I discovered for the first time fruiting last year... and then it fell over in a typhoon. The base of the trunk had bad rot in it because it was hidden behind an opaque vinyl tunnel and wasn't getting any air. I had hoped to start enjoying peaches, and then it died. I'm trying to salvage the wood
. It is a joy to carve.
I discovered hirsute raspberries last year too. They grow wild here and after identifying the plant I decided to let it spread. It is thorny, but the fruit is delicious.
Lastly are my recent additions:
trees, three blackberry canes, four blueberry bushes. Most are still quite young but we had a crop of three blue berries this year! Haha.