Thursday, 28 January 2021

BIRD BOX

 

This is our new tit box which was installed at the Orchard today. We are delighted with it and are looking forward to seeing the first residents.
We are planning to have 2 more put up with a robin box too. Hopefully the occupants will eat many of the winter moth caterpillars which have caused us so much grief. 



Friday, 22 January 2021

WALSSAIL 2021

This year, due to Covid 19 restrictions, our annual Wassail 
had to be done very differently with no large gathering.
Instead, Andrew Claringbull and his family celebrated for us. 
Andrew has been our Wassail master for the last few years 
and he led his family group splendidly observing all the traditions, 
and singing together round the tree with the mulled cider. 
You can see the songs and traditional incantations on the song sheet. 
It's not too late for you to go up to the Orchard in your family groups to have your own private Wassail.... 
The trees would certainly benefit from such extra attention!


 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

STEPS TO THE ORCHARD

These pics show the before and after of the steps up into the Orchard. The originals were over 10 years old and have served us well. The new ones (very many thanks to David Firmin and Peter Tindall) are splendid....sturdy and hopefully long lasting too. Many thanks to them both for their hard work




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