Fruit Garden, Orchard

Our Very Own Orchard

apple tree

Chilly evenings and dewy mornings, my favourite time of year is fast approaching. The mature fruit trees in our garden were planted many years ago in rows, giving the appearance of an orchard. We’ve always wanted our very own orchard and that’s how we refer to our wonderful old trees.

Bramley apples
Bramley apples

Victoria plum tree

Dripping with fruit in shades of green, purple, red and yellow, the garden has never looked so colourful since moving here late January. Greengage and early plums are finishing now, tipsy wasps litter the lawn, feasting on fallen fermented plums alongside occasional Red Admiral butterflies.

fallen apples

Early plums
Early plums
One of the pear trees
Wasps gorging on fruit
Wasps gorging on fruit

The garden is very wide and therefore open in most places, fruit trees are a great way to provide cover to free-ranging chickens from aerial predators. We have a few more fruit trees to plant this autumn; Scrumptious apple will replace a small ornamental cherry that isn’t doing very well, Cox’s Orange Pippin and a Bramley apple. It’s almost time to release them from their temporary containers where they’ve lived happily since moving here.

Apple tree, possibly a Cox?
Apple tree, possibly a Cox?
Another apple, not sure of this one
Another pear tree
Another pear tree
Bramley apple tree
Bramley apple tree
Again, not sure of this variety of apple

I’m jam making again with gorgeous Victoria plums, it’s unbelievable the amount of fruit the Victoria tree has produced.

Victoria Plum
Victoria plums
Our lovely Victoria plum tree

A pretty Comma butterfly seemed to watch me from one of the pear trees, it stayed quite still while I snapped away with the camera.

comma butterfly on a pear tree

underside of a comma butterfly

There are two pear varieties and three apple varieties in the orchard that we need help with identifying, along with an early plum (mid July fruiting). If you recognise a variety from the photos please do leave a comment.

Fruit Garden, Harvest

Scrumptious Harvest

scrumptious apple harvest 2009

All our fruit and vegetable harvests have been pretty scrumptious to be honest, but this post is mainly about our Scrumptious apple harvest. This year was the first year of fruiting for our young Scrumptious tree and I’m very pleased with the quality and taste of the fruit. In all we managed to harvest 15 good size apples after a great deal of thinning to prevent the tree from trying to produce more. Also, like everyone else I imagine, the wasps got to some of the fruit.

The wasps have been a real pest this year due to the warm spring, we had a nest of them in a conifer tree and I received my first sting ever this year from a wasp. Ouch! I’m not ashamed to say it bl**dy well hurt too! Now they are becoming lethargic and seeking sugary energy, fruit trees and autumn fruiting bushes / canes are taking a battering. I spotted some hornets near our vegetable garden yesterday, oh dear. I know they are good pollinators but they do drive me potty.

Our other apple tree, a young Cox has also produced some lovely looking fruit, probably ready to harvest towards the end of next month. Provided the wasps leave them alone of course.