When checking the orchard we saw the first apple growing on the Cobra apple tree. We're not expecting any fruit this year as the trees are young and will have to overcome the shock of transplanting into their new home in Turnditch Orchard. It will be interesting to see if the apple survives through to maturity in the autumn. The crab apples are loaded with tiny fruit, but at the moment we don't count them as fruit, but rather as a decorative pollinator plant.
|Our first Cobra Apple in the orchard|
We are allowing clumps of Comfrey to grow as their flowers are a good source of food for bees. The foliage also makes a good base for fertiliser. At the moment it is all looking very healthy and prolific.
|Wild Comfrey in the Turnditch Orchard|
We have had a bit of a failure with the Guinevere Plum tree. It was supplied as a potted three year old tree complete with root ball, but for some reason a lot of it has died back. However there is some signs of partial growth, so we'll get the secateurs out in the autumn and prune back the deadwood.
|Struggling plum tree in the Orchard|
Overall we are pleased with progress. Both the quince and the walnut tree are looking particularly healthy and happy in their new locations. The walnut tree will be fed by the body of our faithful old dog Rocky who was buried by it's roots in the Spring. Rocky lived to be 23 years old and now has the job of guarding the orchard. He was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Labrador Cross who we took in as a rescue dog when he was 6 years old.
|Rocky, died 2014 aged 23|