I have spent an afternoon strimming and clearing the grass and weeds from beneath the trees in the orchard. We wanted an orchard the moment we came to this garden.
The orchard is one year old, planted as maidens and planned with the help of Habitat Aid it has gone through the worst of weather. Planted in November last year it has faced eight foot snow drifts at Easter as it came into bud and howling winds thoughout winter that nearly bent them double. Then to top it all, when I restaked them I cut myself badly and bled all over them. I then had to have a tetanus. This orchard means a lot to me.
|Old Green Gage|
As it moves into late summer the sorrow of removing all the fruit earlier in the year has now proven to pay dividends. The trees are taller than I would expect but they are on M106 rootstocks which allowed them to get their roots down. M106 tend to be around 65% vigourous, this makes a final tree height of around 10-12 feet with a 10 feet diameter. We have the room here so it seemed natural to select a stock that would give us a strong orchard and that could stand up to the elements. We are a large space but not large enough to take trees on a M25 rootstock, the motorway of all rootstocks.
|The orchard looking south|
There is nothing like an orchard when it is cleared of long grass and weeds. It is only a small orchard by some orchard standards, it is home to eight trees and you can see each one in the video below. The apples are all northern varieties and most of them are Yorkshire varieties, bar a nod to Keswick. The Hunt House went on the voyages of discovery with Captain Cook. This is an orchard with a story behind each fruit.