A tale of two orchards

This Saturday was a beautiful English spring day, slight wind, mild and some sunshine.  The Eastington Community Orchard is nearly ready for the summer.  We got one of the information boards out and the new bench in place.  There are a few bit still to do – grass cutting and the fruit cages need weeding.

If you have really sharp eyes you might be able see the different trees but I think the picture might be too small.

The plums and pears are out and looking great.  Hopefully, we will get some fruit from them this year.

We also went over to a small National Trust garden on Saturday.  We have been to Westbury Court Gardens a couple of times now.  Apparently, it is the last surviving Dutch water garden in the UK. Its a pleasant and smallish gardens based around a walled garden and two water filled canals. The walls are covered in fantastic trained trees from the late 1970’s when the gardens were restored.

There are 2 basic structures of training at Westbury Court.  The plums all seemed to be trained into a fan whilst the apples and pears were more classic espalier.  The Ashmead’s Kernel above is a very different shape!  Ashmead’s Kernel is supposed to be the best tasting apple in Gloucestershire. Hopefully we will find out in 2-3 years when we have our grafted tree in fruit.

One of the espalier above obviously had a bit of a problem at some point.  It looks like they decided it need to be higher and trained a new shoot on the left of the main stem.  We were slightly surprised how far out the side shoots grew.

So the question is – can we do something even slightly similar with out apples at home?

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