~ The ‘new’ fruit borders.
Last year we finally sorted out the back patio and redesigned the grassed area behind the house and drive. I wanted trellis to add a screen, and that meant a chance to practise espalier pruning on some new apple trees.
We also had quite a drop off the new wall, so to prevent a small person from wandering too close to the edge we planted redcurrants, white currants and a blackberry that we could then train along wires – to hopefully achieve better crops, as well as being a barrier.
Well, they were semi-successful last year which is not bad seeing as they were only planted up in March. The crab apple (Malus Golden Hornet) produced a handful of fruit – some pecked off by the chickens, the last few picked off by Isabella to show me the ‘lovely little yellow apples that are not ready yet’ – grrrr!
The Japanese flowering Quince (Chaenomeles superba Pink Lady) didn’t fare any better – the beautiful peachy-pink blossoms eaten by our permanently hungry fowl = no quinces for us!
The double-u cordon of Delbard Estivale (Delbarestivale) was bought back in 2006 and had languished in a very large pot, but now has its place along the steps. Hopefully this year will see it produce some decent fruit. The apple trees were bought in 2010 and had been waiting for a space to appear / us to make up our minds! All were well watered in and pruned a little, but I think the combination of a long dry summer and being planted quite late on were too much! Each had a couple or three apples, but none that reached any size, or maturity – thanks again to the chickens and Isabella!
So, how do we avoid the same thing happening again in 2012 – well hopefully Isabella will take us to see the apples as they are growing on the tree, and the chickens will maybe be contained to only half the garden….