Overburdened

A tree laden with a full crop of developing fruit is a wonderful sight, but there can be too much of a good thing. Our pear cordons are putting on a great show this year. I had thinned some out, but still they are groaning under the weight of the crop. Except one. It tried… Continue reading Overburdened

Busy bees

Our bees have been busy working on the spring blossom, first the pears, which flower early in the warmest part of the garden, and then the cherries, and soon the apple blossom. Temperatures last week were high enough to allow a brief inspection of the hives. Of the four that went through the winter, three… Continue reading Busy bees

Winter pruning of the cordon apples and pears

Our cordon apples and pears are pruned largely during late summer. However, there is usually some work to do in winter, cutting back secondary growth and thinning spur systems. The latter is not easy to do until after leaf fall, when the structure is more readily observed. With spring around the corner, it was definitely… Continue reading Winter pruning of the cordon apples and pears

Pear Doyenne d’Ete

The Doyenne d’Ete, or summer doyenne, is an old variety of early summer pear. While we have many weeks yet before the main pear crop begins, this early pear is generally ripe around mid July to the end of August. Like the early apples, these sorts of pear are not the finest in quality nor… Continue reading Pear Doyenne d’Ete

Pear varieties for the orchard

Continuing the series of articles on our selection of orchard fruits for planting this winter, this article looks at our pear collection. Within the kitchen garden we have nine cordon trained pears: Doyenne d’Ete, Louise Bonne of Jersey, Duchess of Angouleme, Beurre Diel, Easter Beurre, Beurre Hardy, Marie Louise, Bonchrétien d’Hiver, Doyenne Blanc. These cover… Continue reading Pear varieties for the orchard

Brogdale apple festival, a review

Brogdale, home of the National Fruit Collection, hosted its Apple Festival – touted as the ‘Biggest and the Best Apple Festival’ on 19–20 October 2013. Being something of an apple enthusiast, and appreciating the importance of the National Fruit Collection in terms of the preservation of our fruit growing heritage, I was very keen to… Continue reading Brogdale apple festival, a review