Renovating & Restoring Neglected Fruit Trees

Many people move to new homes where the previous owners or even the builders had planted fruit trees. In pre-war years there was often an emphasis on providing new homeowners with two fruit trees – an eating apple and a cooking apple. The reality is that these trees usually get left unpruned or get hacked about as the garden owners have no time or knowledge to manage the trees. The results of this neglect are either small trees, part dying through branch suffocation or large, unfruitful trees that are completely out of control and are an unsightly mess. And, of course, quite a few gardeners plant fruit trees themselves only to lose control of them very quickly…. this is where I often take over as much of my business nowadays involves restoring old orchards and garden grown fruit trees. Continue reading

A fan trained cherry growing against a south facing wall

Growing Cherries in the Garden

Not so long ago the thought of growing cherries in the garden or allotment other than as one big tree was simply a fantasy. Likewise, commercial cherry growers were finding life very difficult with their orchards of big trees and many of them gave up. Large swathes of the UK simply stopped growing this wonderful fruit. The major problem was the height of the trees which made picking very difficult and expensive as agricultural wages increased, plus the desire of large populations of birds to consume the crops before they could be picked. Continue reading

Empathy ‘mini meadow’ seed mix is the ideal way to achieve the perfect habitat for pollinating insects (bees, bugs and butterflies).

Pollination of Fruit Trees

The flowers of the ‘top’ fruit trees that we grow in the UK – apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches and nectarines – have both male and female parts and for a fruit to be created these female parts must receive pollen from the male parts of another flower – usually from another tree. In the majority of cases this means that you cannot grow a single top fruit tree by itself – unless you happen to have another close by in a neighbour’s garden. Continue reading