It's my favorite time of the year! I get to go shopping on catalog sites for garden stuff. Right now, I've just ordered some more fruit trees! For the third year in a row, I'm ordering apricot trees. Last year, I planted them and they were going great and then...it rained and rained and rained some more. Those poor trees just simply drowned. *sigh* so we start again. I ordered two Manchurian apricots because you need cross pollination. I know they grow in this area because people are picking apricots off of their trees! I want some of those too! In my mini orchard, I have Rescue and Dolgo crab apple trees. I have a September Ruby and a Dexter Jackson apple tree also. My pear trees are Early Gold Pear and Golden Spice Pear. I have a hardy cherry tree collection that includes Romeo cherry and Nanking cherry along with others that I'd have to go to the garden to check which ones they are. I also have a lovely Convoy Cherry Plum. Saskatoon trees, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries and currents also grow in my garden. The various trees are just starting to flower being in their third year, as they were all very young trees. My raspberries should produce well this year as they are now 3 years old. I don't really know what variety they are, as they came from a girlfriend's father's garden and they had been there a long time. She graciously offered these plants to me and my husband and I went and took several pailfuls of plants. We got them home and planted a row about 30 feet long. Last year after all that rain, the rain stopped so I did not get very many berries. I did get 4 blackberries from my two new plants, this year I ordered two more plants and we will probably stake them. Along with all my new trees, I ordered two Haskapp berry trees, they taste like a cross between a blueberry and a raspberry. When starting new tree plantings, it's imperative to do your homework to see what these trees love, do they like a moist soil? do they not like wet feet? Should you be mulching them? How much sunshine does your new tree need? When shopping, reading all you can about your new tree will go a long ways for a healthy tree and long living tree! I'm a big believer in mulch and I mulch almost all my trees. We've actually done an experiment. My husband and I planted two cedar trees...one was mulched with newspaper and rock. By the end of three years, the mulched tree was double the size of the unmulched tree. It was amazing! Living in the country, we have critters in our yard, especially rabbits and they love love love fruit tree bark. This is easily remedied by putting tree bark protectors around the trunks of your fruit trees. Finally, regular weekly waterings will help your fruit trees survive and flourish!