Today it was all about pruning.
I have a friend, M, who is a master gardener.
He has been teaching me all about pruning our fruit trees for the past six months.
We had a couple of sessions in the winter on the apple and pear trees.
Today he came again for another session on the pitted fruits - the cherries and plums particularly, and also one greengage.
In the past I've been more of a hacker than a pruner. But now I've set myself the target of planting 100 fruit trees in three years I did think it was time to learn to do it properly .
It has been fascinating to learn all about restorative pruning, formative pruning, apical dominance, the rule of thirds etc etc. After four sessions with M I do feel confindent now in keeping our growing collection of fruit trees in good order.
Unfortunately some of our cherry trees are suffering from fungal leaf spot (left above) and a couple of others from bacterial canker (right above). Neither of these should be fatal to the trees but will likely affect their yields to some extent. There is no easy organic cure for either of the diseases so we will live them for the timebeing.
While in the home field pruning the cherries I did spot some very beautiful berries of the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus). We have a small patch of Guelder Rose in a rather boggy area of the field.
The berries are edible in small quantities but with a very acidic taste. They can be made into a jelly. However they are mildly toxic, and may cause vomiting or diarrhoea if eaten in large amounts. I'll leave them to the birds 😉
Just for interest the Guelder Rose in one of the national symbols of Ukraine.
Everything is booming and blooming in the garden.
I am particularly happy that figs are now appearing on my number 1 fig tree (I've two younger ones as well). We had some later in the season last year but they didn't ripen in time.
And bringing a little bit of hope and sunshine into the back garden is one of my 'rescue' sunflowers. I found four of them growing on a compost heap. Unfortunately only one survived transplanting and slugs.
I am also having another go at growing celery.
I planted them in open ground last year but they didn't really produce much edible stalk.
This year I am trying them in 30 litre tubs. I planted them about half way down the tub and have then been adding compost as they grow.
Hopefully this will produce a better amount of tasty white stalk.
Anyone tried this method?
Despite rain during the day we were gifted with a beautiful sunset to round off the day.
[all images taken by @pennsif]
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