An orchard is a tale not just of trees but the people who found the trees. Our orchard was always going to be as much about the fruit as the stories. Sadly, earlier this year we lost our damson. It didn't cut the mustard on our hillside and the leaves withered, dried and the tree, barely three years old, has died. It may be the case it will put on a valiant last surge of growth next spring but for now it is being dug up, placed in a pot and put somewhere sheltered. Yet, the loss of one tree is not the end of an orchard. We have plans.
We are blessed with an abundance of stone our hillside. We presently have two large one ton bags full of stone and we plan to build a new dry stone wall at the bottom of the orchard. The full orchard is cut in two by Carol's studio and the wall will abutt to it creating a sheltered pocket on both sides, depending on which way the wind is blowing. We are going to dig out two beds here for soft fruit, we have been donated some blueberries from Andrew's Dad and have rhubarb grown from seed, cuttings of show winning gooseberries, our own blackcurrant cuttings and it will see the inclusion of a pear. The damson won't be consigned to the compost heap yet, it will be nurtured in a pot and if it shows signs of growth next spring we will find it a more sheltered home. We have decided to incorporate ox eye daisies, cowslips and buttercups into our orchard grass to overtake the 1000 daffodils bulbs we planted there last week. This will then disguise the die back of the Penpol daffodils and create an area where we can sit, have picnics, cook and watch Little D play hide and seek.
A little more on our orchard:
Tale of an Orchard
The Ethical Orchard
Habitat Aid Support Our Orchard Plans
The Arrival of the Orchard
Staking a Meadow
An Afternoon in the Orchard
In the Orchard: Late Summer (includes a film)