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Blossom Alley and Orchard

October 2007

Karen had the idea of planting a small alley of blossom trees with a seat at one end just as you come out of the trees by the Rhododendrons. We selected some small slow growing blossom trees and planted them far enough away from the boundary so that wouldn't overhang the neighbour's garden when they are fully mature in 30 years. She also wanted to plant some red dogwood along the fence to give some winter interest, so I got Izzy out and started to dig. Using the post hole borer we planted 8 blossom trees in two rows that will hopefully grow to create an archway looking down from the Rhododendron Walk towards the end of the garden. I also used Izzy to clear an area ready for the dogwood, however one of the badly worn hydraulic pipes burst under the pressure which halted progress until I found somewhere to make up a new one. The nearer the house we go the ground becomes absolutely filled with huge flints and below that clay making it really hard work for the tractor to do her work.

April 2009

In April we planted our small orchard consisting of very young pears, apples, greengages and plums.

August 2009

Having planted the orchard we found a couple of problems. Firstly, even though we protected the trunks of the new fruit trees, the rabbits have stripped the bark and half killed some of them! Secondly, the location of the trees has no protection from the wind howling across from the west. We decided to put a pergola around the orchard area tohelp shield the trees from the wind and to create a little self contained orchard area. Yet again I called on the help of my poor kids Emma and Luke to help me.

We used Izzy to dig out the holes and for the posts which proved quite hard work as the ground was so dry and full of flint. I'm not sure what this area has been used for in the past but some holes were easy to dig with completely different coloured soil.

The finished result looks really good however...

November 2009

I had to dismantle the pergola because when I put it up I stupidly didn't concrete in the posts! The rain drenched the ground and the wind blow the whole thing down. What a numpty! Lesson, don't cut corners because you'll only have to do the job again.

May 2012
I finally got around to reconstructing the pergola, and I ordered a couple more sections so it could be extended further to provide more shelter from the wind. I took one week off work at the end of the month to work with Jason to dig the holes with the post hole borer (with new teeth) and to concrete in the posts. I was the labourer, fetching the ballast and mixing the 50 lots of concrete. The week pretty much broke me, while Jason didn't even break into a sweat. We also constructed the vegetable garden.

June 2012

I put up the trellis around the pergola to create the boundary for the small orchard and Karen planted 5 wisteria to grow up and over the arches.