When we moved here we were more than happy to discover that the large old trees halfway down the garden were fruit trees. We subsequently found that we were the proud owners of two very old Bramley apple trees, an unidentified dessert apple tree and the largest pear tree I have ever seen.
Further investigations uncovered that what we had was the last remaining part of an old orchard, the rest of it had been destroyed and built on sometime in the 1980’s and was now somewhat ironically called Orchard Drive.
We were very proud of our old trees and the fact that they were there to act as a reminder of the history of our little patch of land – and as an added bonus they gave us as much fruit as we could wish for.
You can imagine our horror then when out of the blue one day last year we received a letter from the insurers of the house closest to the trees implicating our trees in a subsidence claim.
Without going into detail the end result was that all the trees except the Pear had to be felled. Poorly built house 1 – Old orchard nil
While we find it upsetting to think about what happened it has given us the chance to plan that area of the garden from scratch and to replant a new orchard in another part of the garden. The new orchard will be situated in the furthest part of the garden, unfortunately this is the area that has been the most neglected.
So this month has all been about preparation in this part of the garden. We have planted a native hedgerow to the field side of the garden, comprising of 250 bare rooted whips, a mix of Hawthorne, Blackthorn, Guelder Rose, Holly, Field Maple and Dog Rose.
Next job -the preparation of the soil.