In the winter of 2009 my long held ambition to plant a small cider orchard of my own began to take shape. When we moved here over 10yrs ago most of the land was an over grown inpenetrable mass of overplanted Christmas trees unsold and now festooned with 10-15 yrs growth of brambles, beyond these an equaly dense belt of overplanted contorted ash containing a pheasant pen. over the years the wilderness was tamed and thinned out to about 50 of the best ash trees. underplanted with snow drops, bluebells and daffodils, very nice but after much deliberation it was decided to remove all the ash and grind out the stumps in order to make way for some traditional cider apple and perry pear trees.
I thought it would be of interest to some if I were to show here the Garden/orchard progressing through the seasons.
Without tying up the whole of my lawn I decided there was room for 19 standard trees on M25 rootstocks, after much deliberation the following list of trees was ordered.
- 2 Kingston Black
- 2 Tremletts Bitter
- 2 Yarlington Mill
- 1 Slack ma Girdle (had to have one)
- 1 Hangdown
- 1 Ashmeads Kernel
- 4 Dabbinet
- 4 Harry Masters Jersey
- Perry Pears
- 1 Helen’s Early
- 1 Hendre Huffcap
The Hendre Huffcap was a late arrival being a much larger tree, the rootball was contained in a dumpy bag. the tree took some time to convince me of it’s survival, I watered all the trees once a week throughout the summer.
Spindly individual in the background is a Hangdown true to form! We had enough pears in the first year for 1 gallon of perry.
I find the propagation of fruit trees fascinating so had to have a go at grafting a few trees.
In Jan/Feb I always have trees to prune so took the opportunity to gather some desirable scions and ordered 50 rootstocks from Blackmoor Nurseries.