coquet nature lover

Friday, 3 June 2016

'Les arbres qui sont lents pour accroître l'ours le meilleur fruit' Moliere

......translates to 'The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit' 


Orchard fruit

Moliere may well have a valid point as the old apple trees (unidentified) in the photo below have borne many fruits over the years.  Hopefully, the new trees I planted more recently, mainly plums and pears, will eventually do as well.  Currently, they are neither well established, nor worthy of a photo - well apart from close up shots of their blossom.  Their growth has been hindered by the roe deer who come down from the forest to have a good munch on the tasty new foliage in the Spring and graze on the bark throughout the yearIt would be much more preferable if they attacked the avalanche of fallen apples, pecked on the pears or even probed the plums, but then again, you can't beat shoots and leaves if you are a deer! And no, this isn't a reference to 'Eats Shoots and Leaves', Lynne Truss's well-discussed book! Investing in some treeguards and scheduling in a program of pruning is something I must now seriously consider.


Unfortunately, two of the original plum trees that were planted well before I moved here have died.  One weakened after producing a heavy crop of fruit following a rare hot Summer and the other came to a very sudden and unexpected end when a tree surgeon axed down the wrong tree! Anyhow, good comes from bad and that was the start of my program to replace and replenish the orchard.

orchard

Old apple tree blossom



 Pear Beurre Hardy blossom
pink anthers on fresh blossom
An interesting snippet that I have read is that you can identify apples from pears by looking closely at differences in their blossom.  The photo below demonstrates this quite clearly where you can see the black speckly bits (anthers) on the blossom without the petals.  When the pear blossom appears, these anthers are pink however as the petals open out, they turn black whereas this does not happen with apple blossom.

Pear Louise blossom






black anthers are now clearly visible where the petals have fallen


Until recently, this old Morello cherry tree, a traditional variety, was obscured by Elder shrubs. It is south-east facing so perhaps this year, with increased light and sunshine, it will enjoy a better future and start producing juicy dark red fruits once more.  It is again however in a prime position for our feathered friends, who enjoy visiting that corner of the orchard in the Autumn, to feast on the elderberries as well as to gobble up the blackberries in the bramble patch.

Morello cherry tree


This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation. - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf




Indoor fruit

Training apples and pears as espaliers is a well founded space saving way for growing fruit so I thought this could perhaps work for the fig tree I received as a present last year. As the Coquet does not provide the ultimate conditions for growing exotic fruit, I decided to put my latest addition into a medium sized planter underground in the greenhouse. This method has the advantage of restricting the root growth to allow increased fruiting and also provide warmer conditions as figs do enjoy long, hot summers like most of us!  

Brown Turkey fig tree

Although early days, this experiment is working well - the tree has an abundance of small figs and the shape is forming well, and yes, it is not too prolific!  As it is self-fertile, it is an easy tree to grow.  Given the right conditions, it should produce a healthy crop of juicy figs for family and friends - well, unless this sociable baby blackbird continues to visit the greenhouse for a spot of lunchtime delights and to shelter from the showers!
  
Dose of cute
This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation. - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf
This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf
having a snooze

My dwarf peach tree was amazingly successful last year, producing about a dozen small fruits! Following a relatively mild Winter in the Coquet valley, temperatures went on to fluctuate widely in the Spring.  With late frosts in May, many of the perfectly formed flowers, which were by then well open, succumbed.
 frost clung to the greenhouse turning it white
  temperatures plummeted -  buds weakened
 cold snapped leaves quivered and fell to the ground below 

Peach trees flower early in the Spring so with the fleecy coat I used to protect it during the Winter, I had believed I was well prepared.  On reflection, perhaps delaying bloom could be more effective at preventing damage rather than mollycoddling this greenhouse dweller with a Wilko's fleece?

Dwarf Peach Crimson Bonfire®


This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf
My lemon tree was rescued from an overheated city apartment a couple of years ago and is now settling into a rather cold and drafty greenhouse.  It does support the cold conditions in the Winter quite well however, with warmer weather hopefully on the way, the thermometer should rise and the chilly drafts should cease ... albeit rather erratically!  In the meantime, the tree has produced fresh blossom and the lemon that you can see below the foliage is almost ready to harvest despite its greenish tinge; it may nevertheless remain rather lime-looking due to the lack of sunlight in these parts. Lemons can take up to nine months to ripen so maybe I need to be more patient before I harvest it to enjoy with a gin and tonic.

Lemon blossom with fruit
'spot the lemon...'

...and to close this post, here is one of the culprits who, if he could speak, would tell you 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating!'
deer in orchard at dawn








This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation. - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf
This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation. - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf


This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation. - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf

This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation. - See more at: http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/#sthash.sX8AiLYJ.dpuf

2 comments:

  1. very interesting...love your Moliere quote

    ReplyDelete