LATEST NEWS AND EVENTS
First the bad news: earlier in the year we replaced three trees that had been vandalised: an apple, a pear and a plum. The plum was stolen immediately, we assume for someone's own garden, and the pear was damaged later. However, the apple is thriving.
And now the good news: for the first year we have some promising-looking fruit! The trees have been pruned each spring and are growing sturdily. Below: Edward VII, St Edmund's Russet and James Grieve, and a general view of the orchard.
There have been several more incidents of vandalism - stakes pulled out or broken, trees uprooted and left lying around - but we have made good the damage each time, replanted the trees where possible (including the Mulberry, which was discovered under the hedge), and carried out pruning earlier in the spring. The Police are informed of each incident.
Good news: the Beth Pear, which was broken off near the base, is regrowing above the graft. It will take a while to catch up, but we'll watch its progress with interest. The only missing tree is the Jupiter, which was trashed beyond regrowth. We'll replace that in the autumn.
Meanwhile, the trees are coming into blossom. Here are Ellison's Orange and James Grieve:
Our Apple Day was held on Sunday 22nd October for all our sponsors, with an inspection of the orchard and a feast of apple-y food - thanks to all who contributed their culinary skills, and all who came to enjoy them! Below is the post-inspection tea in the Interpretation Centre.
There has been more vandalism. The Damson was trashed, and then trashed further. It has been removed to a pot to see if it can be nursed back to health. The Greengage has also been damaged, though not terminally. Also, the Mulberry tree has been stolen. The Police have been informed and will keep an eye on the orchard particularly over the weekend, when most of the damage seems to have been caused.
Meanwhile, re-staking is in progress, as several of the original stakes have rotted at the base. Particular thanks to Wyevale Garden Centre at Loddon Bridge, for offering a generous discount on new stakes and tree ties.
We hope to hold an Apple Day in October - more to come.
It's nearly a year since we planted the orchard. All the trees are looking healthy, and we pruned them at the end of February, while they were still dormant.
The pear Beurre Hardy which was broken off below the graft has been replaced with another variety, 'Onward'.
The apple Greensleeves, which was damaged when the orchard was vandalised in October, has been replaced with another Greensleeves - and just in case the first one survives after all, it is living in a large pot ready to replant if possible.
31 October 2016
Alas, the orchard has been vandalised. Fortunately the trees themselves seem to have largely escaped (though one was split at the graft and may need replacing), but many of the stakes were broken, and the glass on the notice board was smashed and an egg was thrown at the posters. Thanks to prompt action by Anne and John Booth, the stakes have been straightened and the orchard no longer looks like the photo below.
12 September 2016
An information board showing the layout of the orchard with the varieties of the trees has been installed. The board was recycled from the old Maiden Erlegh pub!