Putting Down Roots

Fig Tree

The other day Reubs and I were driving home after a visiting a few op-shops and we were chatting about fruit trees. Our garden is currently a completely tree free zone and though we don’t have a huge amount of space, we do have room for a few trees along one of our fencelines, as long as we keep them well pruned. Because we’d like to make our small space as productive as possible, we’ve decided to plant fruit trees, so ever since we moved in we’ve been trying to decide which fruit trees to put in. During our car chat we finally settled on four trees; a pear, a plum, a peach and a fig. Then, in a strange twist of fate, that afternoon we popped in to visit my mum and she told us she’d just been given a little fig tree but didn’t have anywhere to put it, so asked us if we wanted it. And so we came into possession of our first baby tree!

It still feels funny to think this house is ours, and though it isn’t our forever home, to know we will be here for at least a few years. Since we got together eight and a half years ago, Reuben and I have rented 8 different places (and that’s not including the seperate apartments we were living in when we first met, my mum’s house or this house!) We have never stayed in a house or apartment for more than 18 months. As silly as it sounds, it’s a bit odd to know where we will be a year from now and it’s kind of amazing to think we will be here long enough to actually see trees grow (at least a little bit!) We’ve just never had that kind of certainty before.

When we first settled on our house we felt the need to get everything done immediately. We actually burnt ourselves out a bit working on the house at a crazy pace in an effort to get things the way we wanted them right away, but we realise now there is just no need to rush through this process. It’s going to take a long time to get everything done and we will likely never really “finish” working on our home, but that’s ok! We are in this project for the long haul.

After years of moving from home to home, it feels so nice to be putting down roots. Both literal and figurative.

Katie x

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About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.


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21 Responses to “Putting Down Roots”

  1. Carrie June 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    We are one move behind you…we don’t have any garden space at all…but we are starting to obsessively check rental websites for houses with garden!

    There are alot of varieties of trees that are trailing or climbers that give you lots of fruit but can be trained along a fence…less pruning for you!

  2. Yelle June 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    I adore fig trees! we had a little one on our balcony until it died one winter and never came back. you’ll love it. as for putting down roots – i know what you mean. right now we cant because we wont live where we live forever, but i cant wait for the day to put our roots down too!

  3. Cari June 16, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Was that decision inspired by Johanna Newsome at all? Wonderful choices, I hope they grow amazingly well for you!

    • Katie
      Katie June 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      It’s wasn’t, no. But I just did a quick google, becauce I hadn’t heard of Johanna Newsom before, and wow! Thank you so much for introducing me to her!

  4. CC June 17, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    I have lived in three places in the last year, and I kind of enjoy it. I have so many less possessions than I did when I started off. Constantly moving makes me think about what’s really important. Not that I don’t see the appeal of settling, I’d like to get there eventually 😛

    • Katie
      Katie June 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      Yeah, I can totally understand that! I was actually pretty happy with our constant moving up until fairly recently. I always liked the feel of a fresh start, spring clean and declutter! It has only been in the last year or so that I started to want to settle somewhere a bit more long term 🙂

  5. Maria @ Cheeky Pink Tulip June 17, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    If we were voting, I would vote for a lemon tree! Just think about all the lemonade and lemon squares you could make! You can never have too many lemons 🙂

    Maria xx

    • Katie
      Katie June 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      Yep, a lemon tree is fifth on our list so still a contender! The only reason it didn’t make it to the top four is because my mum (who is only around the corner from us) has a really prolific lemon tree, so we are never in need of lemons. But if ever she moved…

  6. The Life of Clare June 17, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    I have that same feeling of emergency. Trying to get everything done right away. We’ve always rented random house, but our current one we’ve been in for 2 years already and will probably be in for another couple. Enjoy your fruit trees!

  7. Brenda June 17, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Fruit trees are the best, although fig trees do grow HUGE, blueberry bushes, raspberries and strawberries are all great too. With regards to your house, we have lived in our fixer upper for 20 years and are still going! xxBrenda

    • Katie
      Katie June 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Yep, we’ve already put in some blueberries and rasberries! 🙂

  8. Lynda @HomeleaLass June 17, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    Fruit trees sound lovely and it sounds like it is meant to be now that you’ve got a little fig tree of your own. I’m sure you will enjoy tending to and watching that little tree grow, and then eating it’s fruit.

    Getting out of the renting cycle is certainly liberating.


  9. Librarygirl June 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    We have a lemon, nectarine, apple, two plums an apricot and a peach tree.
    The plums are old, we’ve planted all the rest, last year has seen them producing at last.
    The peaches were an especial joy, the apple too. Nectarine not so successful.
    Do love our lemon tree, my favourite I think.

  10. Rita@thissortaoldlife June 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    I always think that planting anything is an act of faith in the future. And a gift. There are many things about our home I still don’t love (after 2 years here; yes, it will go slowly), but I’m always so grateful for the beautiful, mature plants and flowers. Our neighborhood is about 40 years old, so we are surrounded by large, full trees and shrubs and perennials. I love walking here, and I’m thankful for all the homeowners who came before us for making it so lovely. We know this isn’t our forever house, either (a concept that doesn’t really work for us, anyway). We’re just trying to enjoy it while we’re here and leave it better than we found it. Your tree plans sound wonderful, both for you and for whoever lives there after you.

  11. Jen June 18, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    Fig trees are great and you’ll have more jam than you can eat once it starts fruiting.

    Please be careful about planting along a fenceline or anywhere there could be underground pipes, foundations or electrical cables. Fig tree roots get into everything and their reach is extensive, If your 1950s house has 1950s teracotta/clay water and sewage pipes then fig tree roots can easily shatter them (not to mention your neighbour’s pipes too). It can also lift and warp your fence.

    The peach, pear and plum don’t have wildly invasive root systems so you should be ok with those.

    Good luck with your gardening.

  12. Samantha June 18, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Great choice of trees 🙂 I do believe pear trees need a cross pollinator. If you walk around your neighbourhood and see what fruits are growing you may find there’s already a pear quietly growing which then means you’ll only need to plant 1, but do try to find out the breed of the other as they seem to fruit better if it’s a different breed. Most fruit trees are more bountiful if there’s other breeds around.
    Beware of how big the fig can grow. I was watching BHG last weekend and the guy said figs don’t grow too big, well, that’s a load of bulldust! Ours grew 7 feet tall and about that wide too, and it was only 5 years old. Others I’ve seen had branches the size of elephant legs, although they were atleast 100 years old 😉

  13. Karan Jorgensen June 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi Guys,
    I enjoy your blog a lot and following your journey together. It seems like you guys are committed to following a green path and you remind me of myself a few years back. Just a suggestion is that maybe you want to sit down look at your space and do a little plan, maybe where you are heading in a few years time, do you want to add anything to your house etc. Do you know any permaculture people that could help you do this? Only because I have on a number of occasions planted fruit trees and then had to pull them out a few years later because either they haven’t worked in that spot too well because i wasn’t aware of shade/space issues or because of changes we have made to the house or because they don’t do that well in our area etc,etc. It was annoying to see them get so far then have to take them out for one reason or another. Also its a good way of getting the most out of a small space to be aware of heights of plants/needs of plants/ sun in your space/ how will you will utilise your yard for food growing etc. There are lots of good books/blogs on permaculture that can help you do this. But you may already be aware of all this anyway, so good luck! Growing your own food is such an awesome experience, very satisfying

  14. Fenn June 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    A lovely post, yet again, so beautifully written! You guys are so inspiring with all your choices, thoughts and ethos. You make me so excited for the day when I can move in with my boyfriend and we can share and build a home together filled with all our finds and loves.

    Peace, Fenn x

  15. Toni-Louise June 20, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    I’ve just stumbled across your lovely blog and i’m so happy I did! What a wonderfully beautiful blog you have, i’m now your newest follower on bloglovin’ and can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures. Also brilliant choice of trees! Fruit trees are for sure the best! We’ve just bought our first home and move in next month, I think tree shopping will without a doubt be on the list of things to do. 🙂 x


  16. Margaret June 23, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Sounds like you are moving along with the garden progress, Figs and peaches can be expensive, so good to have your own supply, I would also include a Mandarin tree, easy to grow and they usually bear HEAPS of fruit, vitamin C supply sorted !

  17. Molly June 28, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I so wish we had planted a feijoa tree and a lemon tree and soon as we moved in to our cottage. We thought there was no point since we wouldn’t be here long, but this is now our second winter in the house and we could be harvesting our first feijoas. Definitely won’t be making the same mistake with the next house!


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