Tag: blossom

Air-Pot Mini-Orchard Update: It’s Blossom Time

I’m very happy to report that the fruit trees we bought from Grow at Brogdale and potted up in Air-Pot containers back in February all seem to have settled in nicely and are producing a healthy flush of blossom.

Here’s our Malus domestica (apple) ‘Herefordshire Russet’, putting on a lovely show in shades of pink and white:

April 2017 Herefordshire Russet blossom

Malus domestica ‘Blenheim Orange’ is joining in as well:

April 2017 Blenheim Orange blossom

A little way behind those and looking like it might be a partial tip-bearer (not to self re: future pruning requirements) we have the later-fruiting Malus domestica ‘Cornish Aromatic’:

April 2017 Cornish Aromatic buds

The Malus (crab-apple) John Downie has been on the verge of breaking bud for a fortnight, but very wisely decided to wait for the recent chilly spell to pass:

April 2017 Malus John Downie blossom

And not to be outdone, the Prunus avium (cherry) ‘Morello’ is currently a column of shining star-like flowers:

April 2017 Morello Cherry blossom

In a couple of years time, when the fruiting spur structures have had a little longer to establish, these trees should be absolute stunners.

The next stage will involve monitoring the blossom for fruit-set and then deciding just how many fruits to leave on each tree this year. I think I’ll err on the side of caution and thin down to two or three per tree, as this is their first, establishing season, and I’d rather they put their energy into root development as they settle in to their Air-Pot homes. But if you think that’s over-cautious and there’s a good, hortcultural reason why I should just let nature take its course, please do let me know via the comments.

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Let’s Hear It for Soft Fruit Flowers

The merry month of May is when blossom season really gets going. Whilst the big, showy masses of apple, cherry and early strawberry flowers are grabbing the bulk of the attention and hogging the photo opps, I thought I’d take a closer look at what’s going on in the soft fruit patch down at Plot #59.

What I found was our selection of berry and currant bushes quietly doing their subtle, under-stated thing: putting out a lovely array of tiny, delicate bee-lures that don’t scream “pollinate me!” anywhere near as loudly, but carry just as much productive promise of bumper harvests to come.

Here’s what’s happening at the moment:

May 2016 blackcurrant blossom
Last year we harvested so many blackcurrants we ran out of room for them in the freezer…
May 2016 gooseberry blossom
Our gooseberry bushes are just coming into their full maturity – a good harvest ahead, hopefully.
May 2016 redcurrant blossom
Anyone know a good recipe for Cumberland sauce so we can make best use of our redcurrants?
May 2016 whitecurrant blossom
We’re looking forward to sampling a few whitecurrants, all being well.
May 2016 blueberry blossom
Meanwhile, back home, our potted blueberries are blooming marvellously.

What’s your favourite soft fruit? Or are you growing any unusual varieties? (We have a Japanese Wineberry plant and have edible fuschia berry plugs on order). Let me know in the comments…

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Mystery Fruit Trees – Now With Added Blossom

When we took over our plot we inherited a few fruit trees that had been cut right back to stumps by a former tenant (in a fit of pique when they were evicted, according to one plot-neighbour).

They’ve re-grown, as trees will, and I’ve been gently encouraging them – a bit of a prune here, removing a few suckers there – in the hope that they’ll produce something interesting.

Last year one of them produce a single, solitary fruit, which I’m (really, really) hoping was a greengage:

September 2015 mystery fruit
Greengage? I hope so. I love greengages…

It’s a plum or plum-cross variety of some sort, anyhow. And it tasted vaguely greengage-y when I ate it.

This year, the same tree, and a couple more alongside them (or they could be off-shoots from the same tree, it’s hard to tell without digging) have set blossom:

April 2016 mystery blossom
Could be greengage? Fingers crossed…

As long as the forecast cold snap doesn’t kill them off before they’re pollinated then with any luck I’ll know what’s what in a few months. Fingers crossed for greengage.

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