Before you pull me up on the title I know Spring ‘officially’ begins on 20th March with the equinox but seriously after the winter we’ve just had who can wait any longer?!
I can see the sun is making an appearance just over there in my garden and the daffodils, while not actually flowering yet around here, are getting ready to make their big yearly appearance.
From today I’ll be posting twice a week.
Yup, twice the updates on the garden and chillies, twice the photography and, in some cases, twice the nonsense!
It will be a good challenge for me. Between now and end of August (possibly the busiest months in the gardening calendar) I want to really push my writing ability on the blog and get me regularly writing without any excuses. Yes it will sometimes be a challenge and sometimes my posts will be less than interesting (for some visitors), but I will post every week on a Monday and a Thursday.
If it doesn’t work out I’ll revert it back to once a week but worth a try, I thought.
Today I just want to share with you the latest developments in the garden, notably the fruit and nut tree planting that took place recently.
To make the most use of the gardening space we’ve got at home and to ensure a full variety of veggies and fruit could be grown it was decided to grow an apple and a plum tree espalier style along the west facing fence in the back garden.
Espalier is just a fancy word for a style of growing your fruit tree. Rather than just growing it as a bush or a full size tree, espalier is trained along lines of wire hooked into a wall or fence.
This is what they should end up looking like:-
It looks very good but I have to say I’m rather nervous about it. For one thing I’ve never grown any tree fruits, let alone into clever shapes. However not to be daunted by the challenge I decided to get all the fruit (and nut) trees in one shop and just go for it. This is what I’m growing:
- 21 Filbert Hazel trees (Cobnuts) – planted as a hedge in front garden
- 1 Egremont Russet Apple tree
- 1 Plum Opal tree
- 1 Celeste Cherry tree – which is being left as a tree and planted in the front garden.
Having received the bare rooted stocks called Maidens it means they are very small (see below).
The worse bit (aside from picking the right varieties for the right spots), was not the planting but the final prune of the apple and plum to start the espalier shape, notably cutting the maidens down to two buds (less then one metre from the ground). Now they both look stumpy and quite frankly dead which is a little scary. However with any luck the remaining buds should start to push out and growth should appear by the end of March and by the beginning of June I should be able to start training the first tier (of three eventually) branches.
It’s a slow business this fruit growing but I’m hoping to be able to eat fruit straight from the garden for at least three months of the year fresh while being able to store and preserve for the winter months.
The hazel trees were much easier as no pruning required for a couple of years and that will only be to get them into shape.
I’ll let you know how it goes but if you’ve got any tips for me about growing fruit please share – I reckon I’m going to need all the help I can get.
More photos of the garden can be found in my photography albums