My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ plums and possums


Our Luisa plum tree branches have a heavy crop this season. It’s a large cone-shaped yellow-fleshed fruit, sweet and juicy to eat  when ripe and picked straight from the tree. However, we have a problem. Possums! This animal is a serious pest in New Zealand. They roam distances and forage during the night and damage trees. We set Timms traps as we will neither use poison baits as we don’t wish to harm the environment nor shoot the pest for obvious reasons of safety of others. We check and clear possible nesting sites on our place. Our friend has three Jack Russell dogs. She says the possums don’t venture much onto their property because the dogs have strong hunting instincts. Though we enjoy the company of our canine friends, we don’t own a dog. Oh well, I’ll just have to pick the fruit and preserve it before we lose the lot. At least the courgettes and lettuces have been spared.

Luisa Plum    Ripening and undamaged Luisa plum fruit is large, red skinned and yellow-fleshed.

Luisa Plum   Half-eaten plum left on the branch by a possum. Often branches are broken as the animal clambers through the tree in search of the tastiest fruits.

 Possum damage to Luisa Plum   More possum damage. Plums are knocked to ground – often the unripe fruit.

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

4 thoughts on “My Garden ~ plums and possums

  1. Do you have another name for Luisa Plums? There is a tree like this growing in a neighbour’s property (in Hobart) and the plums are just ripening now and are sweet, long oval fruit. I tried google searching luisa plum, but it only came back with your blog and these photos as the only useful thing it could find. I’m wondering what tree it is with the thought that one day I may grow one myself. Thanks.

  2. Hi, Miriam. I have no other name for the Luisa plum. The only horticultural info I could ever find is in the hyperlink above. My notes from my local garden centre’s catalogue at the time of purchase a few years ago read that Luisa was first cultivated in Hamilton from a chance seedling. No mention about possible parent trees – how it might have got its name. The notes describe Luisa as very large, yellow flesh and skin, virtually freestone. Unusual shape, similar to a mango. Exceptional eating quality. Ripens late January to Early February. Self-fertile. It is aromatic, fine flesh, juicy and sweet. Relatively disease resistant in more humid parts of New Zealand. I have found this fruit tree easy to grow and true to description. Cheers, Jenny.

  3. Good Afternoon Miriam,
    I was just wondering if you knew of any nursery where we could purchase a Luisa plum tree?
    We live just outside Auckland in Beachlands.
    Thanks Tony

  4. hello
    this is mehmet from turkey
    when is season for plums there
    rake care

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