Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Wander in the Orchard

IMG_0563 Last year the fruit harvest of my orchard was bad.
When I say bad, that is probably an understatement...


There was a late frost, a very late, very hard frost and I, along with almost everybody else in the vicinity, lost ALL my fruit
IMG_0566 With this in my mind, and aware that it was now July and we had not suffered a late bad frost again this year, I decided to go and take a look how things were


panning out.
It looks like it's going to be a bumper crop for some of the orchard standards.
IMG_0569 The Walnut trees are all laden with healthy looking fruit and I am looking forward to the usual battle I


wage with my red squirrel, where, every time a walnut cascades to the floor, Squirrel and I run to see who can bag it first.  Sadly Squirrel usually wins.
The top picture is of the fig tree.  I have a few
IMG_0570 figs.  I'm pleased because the fig tree is in the middle of a kind of restoration project and I did not expect any fruit at all.

The lemon tree grows in a pot as it gets too cold in mid winter for it.   I was delighted to note a tiny fruit on it the other day as I wandered.
IMG_0571 The fruits on the pear tree look the healthiest they have looked in the five years we have been here.


Maybe, the new tree I planted earlier this year has provided some extra stimulus and I'll get some usable fruit once again.
IMG_0572 Apples are one of my favourite orchard fruit and for many years, as a youngster living in England, I believed that orchards only grew apples.


Now, out of thirty trees in the orchard I only have 4 apple trees.  but my favourite is showing a very heavy crop again this year.  I inherited most of the fruit trees
IMG_0574 when I moved here and I really must put some effort into identifying the various varieties.


And finally my mirabelle.  I only have the one tree producing this delicious small yellow plum.  It is a rather late ripening variety and in my garden, it is usually ready to harvest in late August.


As well as the above , my orchard has cherry, peach and nectarine trees.    The cherries fruited well, and we ate substantial amounts before succumbing to the glut and freezing bagfuls.  The peach is new this year and is establishing itself but the current drought is not helping it.  I think the drought has also taken it's toll on the nectarine....a new tree last year but, I fear, neglected through oversight as my attention focused on all the new vegetable beds.   I shall give it some tlc and see if it recovers.

Of course, I have other fruit in the garden, grapes, melons, rhubarb, hazelnut, raspberry and redcurrant to name a few. but many of them are new and all are suffering from a lack of water.   Don't they know this part of the world is called   AQUA taine......

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