Planting Fruit Trees, Herbs, etc

I planted five fruit trees today – there’s already a pear (that was crushed between clumps of bamboo, now liberated) and an old, and rather too high to harvest, apple. I wanted some favourites, but I also wanted a couple of Welsh varieties, something that might appreciate a good deal of rain. Although Pembrokeshire is sunnier than most of the UK, it is also wetter than most, and I’m not sure how the average apple tree will react. I guess they’ll be OK if the drainage is sufficient, which I reckon it is. So I’ve got a Bardsey apple (found in the ruins of a monastery on Bardsey – island off North Wales so well used to rain) and a Abergwyngregyn Damson – from the Menai Straits. They are maiden, one year old, trees. I’ve also got a Bountiful, a cooker/eater, just because I’ve seen that in my mum’s garden and it seems tough, productive and tasty. And I also got a Warwickshire Drooper, partly because of the name (!) but mainly because of the Plum Jam I got from Morville Hall Dower House garden last year – when I went to an open day. With both a funny name and a superb taste, plus an interesting drooping habit, it seems an obvious choice. Plus being a Midlander as I am, I liked the idea of something from the midlands. Oh, and a Doyenne de Comice pear, largely on the combined recommendations from Monty Don and Bob Flowerdew in their respective writings. Being maiden trees they aren’t going to fruit this year – they have no network of fruiting spurs – but delayed gratification is good for you.

I’m getting into planting herbs – the rosemary that sat in the yard in a tub for more than ten years has now got a place on a west facing wall, sheltered and in glorious sun, as it deserves. It’s just along from another rosemary that I took as a cutting from it a few years ago and itself has sat in a pot for a couple of years – already seems to be growing well (in Feb!) in its sunny spot. Thyme, parsley, salad burnet, winter savoury and germander are all in that same area, some in tubs. And the fruit bushes (redcurrants and blueberries) have gone in to their respective slots – blueberries in ericaceous compost tubs. Probably the birds will get them all… they are well located for netting them though.

I’ll add a photo soon. Ah have done. Hmm, the sticks look a bit big for the little trees – but they’ll do. The front one is the Bardsey and the back one is a Bountiful. Give it a year or two and I’ll post another one of them to show the changes.

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