Our work mornings have continued throughout the summer and a big thank you to everyone who has turned up to cut grass, weed, edge fruit beds and prune the trees. Some of our younger orchard members have been a great help weeding the forest garden.
We are always delighted to welcome new members. There are so many ways to join in and become part of the community orchard. If you would like more information please visit our contact page or download a membership form which can be found on the Orchard page.
The mixture of rain and sun has helped the orchard to thrive again and it’s looking as beautiful as ever in the late summer sunshine.
The apples are begining to ripen and the plums are now purple and ready to eat.
There are abundant nuts on the nut trees and it will be a race to who can pick them first us or the squirrels!
One of our major jobs is also looming on the horizon…scything! The grass in the meadows is now ready to cut. We cut the hay using traditional methods using scythes which will all need inspecting and any repairs made before the scything begins.
Last year, we planted some native wild flowers and they have now begun to flower. Steve spotted these Ox Eyed Daisies, Ragged Robin, Yellow Flag Iris and Foxgloves. Can you guess which of these flowers are below? (Click on the images for the answer)
Ox Eyed Daisy
Yellow Flag Iris
On Tuesday 18th June and Thursday 20th June, the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides paid a visit to help with some planting and to hunt for bugs.
The Rainbows took part in a bug hunt finding slugs, snails, frog hoppers and an unusual scorpian fly.
They then planted a brambley apple tree with the help of Steve Bailey. They are planning a return visit to check that how much it has grown.
The Brownies followed the Rainbows and helped to plant two more brambley apple trees. They also did some amazing team work and planted 156 wild flower and herb plugs into larger pots ready for planting out in September. Their final job was to plant herbs in the forest garden.
The Guides visited on Thursday evening and planted two crab apple trees. They finished the evening around a campfire, toasting marshmallows and singing songs.
If you have a few spare minutes please call into the orchard to enjoy the glorious wild flower meadows. There are carpets of colour all around the trees to be enjoyed. Look out for yellow rattle, clovers, buttercups, vetches, plantains and grasses.
The rain and a little bit of warmth during April and May has allowed the wild flowers in the orchard to blossom. Vetch, Speedwell, Wild Red Cover and Lesser Stitchwort are creating a carpet of flowers under the trees. Well worth a visit, especially on a sunny day.
We have recently planted a Fig Tree in our new Forest Garden. Fig trees need their roots contained or they won’t produce a good crop of figs. A bucket was sunk into the ground and stones put in the base. Figs need a warm, sunny spot to grow and the forest garden is in an ideal position. It will be interesting to watch the fig tree grow over the next few years and to pick our first crop of figs!
The orchard is now beginning to blossom with the slightly warmer weather and longer days. The fruit trees are producing blossom and some of our Spring flowers are appearing. The Marsh Marigolds in the ditch are a splash of yellow.
Our latest work morning was held on a chilly but sunny April morning. It was too damp to start the grass cutting, however, there was plenty of weeding to do in the fruit beds and new forest garden.
Please don’t think that it’s all gardening though. Coffee breaks are a good time to get together and someone usually brings along something home baked to share. This time it was cream scones and Jostaberry Jam, made with Orchard jostaberries from last summer.
If you enjoy gardening and home baking why not join us on our next work morning to find out more. Please see the ‘What’s on’ section of our website for the work morning dates.
We were not quite so lucky with the weather for this year’s celebration of Earth Hour! However, the rain stopped and a still evening with not wind meant that we could sit out around the brazier. The skies were mainly cloudy, but towards the end of the evening, the clouds began to thin and we could see some stars.
Our young orchard members had a brilliant time running around with their tourches enjoying the experience of playing in the dark. They were really interested in the star gazing and very knowledgable.
As usual, there was some lovely food to share and mulled cider. Thanks to all who joined in to celebrate Earth Hour 2019.
If you would like to find out more about Earth Hour then please visit the website by clicking here.