Tuesday, 21 May 2013

I'll be with you in...

...apple blossom time, although it's a bit late this year. This might be a good thing as there's plenty of blossom and plenty of insects about so things are looking good for an excellent harvest.

This is my James Grieve which is absolutely covered in flowers. For every one of the seven years we have been here this tree has given us a bumper harvest and is one I would recommend for anyone living in northern England or Scotland. 

Winter Gem is just coming into flower and should give us our first crop this year. This one is three years old and has had to put up with some pretty awful springs in its short life.

This is the unknown cooker. A monster of a tree which must be nearly 30 feet tall and was probably planted shortly after the house was built about 60 years ago. It has always been an erratic performer and I suspect is nearing the end of its useful life. It casts quite a lot of shade over the veg patch and I was going to cut it down and replace it last winter but never got round to it. A job for next winter I guess. Having worked in forestry for a number of years I have a bit of a thing for trees and don't like to destroy them for no reason but they are a crop like any other and when they stop producing they have to go. A good friend of mine is a sculptor/wood carver who makes lovely little boxes from fruit woods so nothing will be wasted. We'll get some excellent firewood and the small branches will be shredded...recycling at its best!

The Elstar and Egremont Russet are also flowering so it looks like cider making will be taking up some of my time in the autumn. We have plenty of wild crab apples growing round here and I can get apples from my neighbours who, for some odd reason, grow them but don't use them!!

Changing the subject slightly, the cherry tree is also festooned in blossom.

Now all I have to do is keep the birds off the cherries...not an easy task.

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