I love my panama berry it is my favourite fruit tree, especially at the moment when it is fruiting. The tree itself is very attractive with soft foliage that hangs almost to the ground it is evergreen, fast growing and always looks beautiful. Fruits are produced for months so at this time of the year the tree is adorned with both the delicate white flowers and the pretty red fruits that are about the size of a small cherry. In ideal conditions the trees can grow to about ten meters but I have no intention of letting mine get that tall as I would not be able to reach the tempting little fruits.
It is a browsing tree, none of the fruit that my tree produces ever make it inside, all my fruits are eaten in the shade of the tree. My birds have not yet realized that the fruits are delicious, I am not sure if this is because they are hidden under the soft weeping foliage but I feel lucky about that. My neighbours wallabies feed on the foliage of his tree but mine have never munched a single leaf on my tree so the foliage weeps to the ground. The fruits are very sweet, I think they have the flavour of vanilla ice cream and I just love to suck the inside flesh out of the skin even though the skins are edible.
Correy will want to know if he can grow a panama berry in a pot in his garden and yes they grow beautifully in large containers, as with any fruit tree in a container it will require regular watering, a good quality potting mix and a healthy layer of organic mulch to keep the moisture in. The panama berry is a must have as a snacking tree for children and adults alike, anyone who like sweet think will love the panama berry.
We have been enjoying a bumper crop of feijoas from our orchard at the nursery this year. Our fruit fly controls are certainly paying off as the fruits are 90% free of fruit fly grubs. Greg has been spraying the orchard with eco-naturlure since August 2006 on a weekly basis. The underside of the leaves of selected trees are sprayed so that it sticks to the back of the leaf and does not get washed of in rain. Feijoas and guavas are particularly attractive to fruit flies so it is wonderful to be eating fruits that are not infected with fly. This is an Apollo feijoa, it has large elongated oval fruits that are delicious and it has cropped well in the orchard this year. They are sweet and have a delicate flavour that is a combination of pineapple, guava, strawberry, passion fruit and lemon. Fruits are refreshing and delicious eaten fresh and they can be used in desserts and preserves.
Feijoas are well known and popular in New Zealand where many of the modern cultivars have been developed, they do however originate from south America where they are common in the mountains of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Feijoas are easy to grow, they are hardy and can be grown in full sun or part shade, they are even tolerant of maritime conditions although this will slow their growth and will reduce the crop. They are ideal to use as a wind break, flowering and fruiting hedge to protect more sensitive plants in your garden.
Colin Cambpell is my favourite celebrity gardener. He has a talk show that you can listen to in Brisbane on 4bc (you can also listen online like I do) on Saturday morning where he gives spot on advice.
Why I like listening to "Col" is simply because he inspires you to get out into the garden and enjoy it. I notice that most people who ring up talk back radio ask questions about their fruit trees which is a great way to learn.
Also with water restrictions and govt hurting those who want to have a garden I believe collin really does stand up for those of us in the cities who want to contrast the pollution with a few trees.