Urban orchard

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Even a small town yard can grow a variety of fruit and become the kind of place that bees, hoverfliers and butterflies like to live in or visit for the pollen and nectar that the blossom provides.

Clean white walls with a dark wood frame and the trees planted at 45% as cordons and a fan on the end wall.

Freshly planted trained fruit trees. The garden has nine apples, four pears and a quince.

The varieties are chosen to produce early and late crops and there is a mix of eating and cooking apples, pears and a quince.  Some are well known, others traditional and not to be found on the supermarket shelves. The trees are sourced from a local nursery.

In all there are 14 trees in a garden just 5m by 4.5m.

A close up of an apple cordon, variety 'Meridian'. Bright red fruit among glossy leaves set off by nastursiums in the background.

‘Meridian’ apple cordon in it’s second year with it’s first crop.

In keeping with our principles the wood is from a local supplier in Backwell, the bamboos are locally grown (unwanted where they were), the compost used is organic and from green waste and the tree ties are cut from old bike inner tubes.  Biochar was also added to the soil to give the plants a good start.

The garden will be completed in spring with a range of herbs and flowers to attract insects. It is a good idea to give them a little while without competition, and as herbs  such as sage, oregano and rosemary originate in the Mediterranean  they may as well be spared the winter, given a reasonable summer and well drained raised beds they should have no problem once established.

Watch this space for the growing and changing orchard as the seasons turn.

Cordons of trees below a roofscape of South Bristol

The rigid geometry appeals to the designer in me, but I know that come spring this will be the image of bursting life.

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