For the first time we have had a decent crop of fruit from the orchard. No late frost or strong wind at blossom time made such a difference. Of course each year means the trees are bigger and more productive too. Cherries and plums need a few more years to reach productive levels, but apples, peaches and pears were good, in spite of the lack of rain.
The esaplier apple trained against the pigsty wall had delicious fruitThe pear, trained to (ultimately) block off the windy-drier, is still a small tree, yet it produced 4 beautiful pears. And the birds did not touch them! Yay!
The Conference pear really struggled with lack of water (note the dead leaves) yet produced lots of small, yet juicy and really tasty fruit.
The peach was so laden with fruit I had to give it extra support after the strong winds we had in July. Really tasty fruit, both for eating and canning.
The fig has grown into an enormous tree
After last year’s disappointing crop (it was destroyed by frost) we’ve had a bumper crop.
Even though I removed at least half of the bunches of grapes on the vine on the trellis, I still had too much fruit
They are a lovely sweet fruit, but too many for us (and friends and neighbours!) to eat, so I made some into raisins, simply by drying them on racks in the sun. Very successful!
At the end of August, Baarte de Rooy came to give me a lesson on pruning. It was wonderful to work alongside a professional to try to learn how to prune correctly.
Before and afters: The aim is to open the centre of the tree, and to contain the height.
It’s going to take a few more lessons for me to feel confident enough to prune on my own though!