Thursday, 19 November 2020

Trimming Completed

 

We've just finished trimming the laurel hedge which as you can see is looking very smart. Many thanks to David Sue and Philip.
We're planning to prune the trees before Christmas....and soon after that we'll be doing a spray with winter wash. We're doing all we can to deter the winter moths from laying their eggs in the emerging fruit buds once spring comes.




Friday, 23 October 2020

WOOD CHIPS

Thanks to Greenwell's Tree Surgeons (Stuart Rimmington) for this great pile of wood chip. It is heaped up and decomposing ready for application in the spring. We very much need this as it locks in the winter moisture in the ground and reduces the need for watering.  

Thanks to the team....Lorna, Stephen and Philip. 

 


Monday, 12 October 2020

Harvest: October 2020

We’ve finished harvesting our apples. It was a moderate crop this year after our winter moth caterpillar infestation but not too bad in the end. We were able to offer the apples to the wider community this year as due to Covid restrictions we were sadly not able to host our annual Harvest and Apple Tasting Day. The apples have been enjoyed by many, including a class from St Peter’s School. The pears were virtually absent this year…..but hopefully we’ll do better in 2021.

We’re starting our autumn tidy with hedge cutting and bramble bashing on the list. In the next few months we’ll be apply the sticky glue bands to catch the female winter moths as they migrate in the spring up into the branches to lay their eggs.  We are also going to try a winter spray to make sure we start the year with clean trees.

Do continue to visit the Orchard during the autumn and winter….it remains a beautiful and special place at all times of the year.

Also do have a look to see if you can find our special new game….suitable for all the family.






Monday, 13 April 2020

Easter 2020

We are indeed living in strange times. I hope you are all well and managing to enjoy the time available to try some different things. I feel slightly as if I am convalescent.....with time to spare and no great rush to do anything.....and I'm afraid those jobs I SHOULD be doing still elude me. 
However I am pleased to report that the Orchard is really looking lovely.....a haven of quiet with blossom and birdsong. The daffodils are pretty well over but the bluebells are delightful. The pears (see pic) are at their best and the apple blossom is not far behind.
The Orchard looks really well cared for too since we have replaced many of the deer guard stakes and provided many of the trees with improved support. We are most grateful to the team of volunteers who have managed this. I must also mention (and thank) the team who are on caterpillar watch.....so far none seen! 
Do take the time to visit the Orchard.....listen to the birds and admire the blossom. We need to take our minds off the current crisis and look to the future......
With all good wishes to you all for Easter
Helen

Sunday, 5 April 2020

News March 2020

We've been having a busy time in the Orchard recently replacing stakes for the deer guards in some cases, and improving support for the trees with a new system of wires.
At last we've been able to reduce the height of the deer guards too....with just a couple left at full height on the two newest trees. We have also weeded, fed and mulched the trees as recommended by the Chairman of the RHS Fruit group who visited in the autumn.
We have also set up Caterpillar Watch to ensure no repeat of last year's devastating attack by winter moth caterpillar. 
Blossom time is approaching fast.....do try to visit in the next few weeks. It's the perfect antidote to the corona virus and how that is forcing us to change our ways of life. Nature is still "doing its stuff" and we can still enjoy it.




Thursday, 20 February 2020

ORCHARD TIDY UP

It's that time of year again when we need to tidy up in the Orchard, spread some mulch and feed the trees.....WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH at 0930
  • Weeding each tree site
  • Adding feed (fish blood and bone)
  • Manure to Ashmead's Kernal and Pixie
  • Topping up the mulch to each site
  • Checking the stakes and the new supports
Before we get to the 18th we are paying for some work being done in the Orchard replacing some of the badly rotted deer guard stakes, and then we are going to be redoing the supports for the trees as this was recommended by Gerry Edwards when he did his inspection.....we are delighted to have some money to spend. Partly through a most generous gift received last year, and partly using the most generous donations at the Wassail.
So on the 18th, do bring kneelers, small hand forks, grab bags for the weeds.....we have 2 wheelbarrows at the site already.....but to move the mulch we'll need shovels and possibly rakes.
Looking forward to seeing lots of you there.....I'll be bringing coffee and bix as usual

With good wishes to you all for a happy and FRUITFUL YEAR
Helen and the Orchard TEAM

Friday, 14 February 2020

Another magic Wassail 2 February 2020


This year’s Limpsfield Community Orchard Wassail party was yet another sparkling success with over 150 people coming along to join in our fruity festivities and one couple even using the special occasion to get engaged!
The evening kicked off at the Royal British Legion, Grub Street for a pre-procession drink, distribution of torches and an explanation of the event, delivered brilliantly as ever by our Wassail Master Andrew Claringbull and his team.
Accompanied by the North Downs Drummers, with lots of very pretty lights hung along the Orchard trail throughout the woodland and with torches aloft, the procession was relaxed and made its way to the orchards at a safe and stately pace, so that the very many children could see and understand the ceremony.
Thanks to an unseasonably balmy evening, and despite the recent rain, we managed to light the fire having built the fire with previously collected dry wood and hundreds of dried fir cones.  As in previous years, the bonfire was masterminded by Ian Green who kept it burning throughout the evening, along with his very able assistant, Jasper Claringbull.
Our King Tree was lit up and dressed with toast, salt and apple to ensure a good harvest and with much singing and noise - bells rattles saucepans and of course the drummers, we performed the passing of the Wassail bowl with hot spicy cider and the traditional WAES HAEL toast.
Then it was back to the bonfire for more cider, sausages (hot dogs) and apple cake, plus of course lots more drumming around the fire.
What a fantastic night it was, with the skies staying clear and very little wind which helped keep our torches alight. It all conspired to provide a warm, colourful, fun and also romantic setting - for one couple at least (part of the North Downs Drummers) - who got engaged by the King Tree! Congratulations from us all!


We are extremely grateful for all donations received on the night, which will help us improve the much-needed deer guards and support systems for the trees.