Growing Awareness - Tree Care Day
Welcome to the latest news-post with our Head Gardener Bryony Middleton
Right to the core!
We are looking forward to our Tree Care Day on Sunday 10 February and hope to see some of you there to lend a hand.
We'll be apple tree-planting on our orchard slopes with that iconic River Dart view, with lunch by the fireside and of course some tasty spiced apple juice from our autumn pressing.
It's the perfect excuse for the apple enthusiast and novice alike to come together, explore our orchards and swap tips and tricks for all things apple-y.
We have an amazing array of unusual fruit trees in our orchards - masterminded by fruit tree expert and former Sharpham gardener Ben Pike.
We've got wild thorns and old varieties of historical value, showing the evolution of fruit tree breeding. Then we've got some rather special South West rarities including the Totnes Apple, Doll's Eye and the Plymouth Pear (pictured left, image via Kew Gardens).
We will be busy clearing the brash and bramble from ground in the next few days before the event in order to plant a small selection of new trees that supplement the current offering.
I have chosen some faithful early eaters such as rosy red Katy, Devonshire Quarrenden, Beauty of Bath and Discovery - the latter being one of my all-time favourite English apples with such a delicious, aromatic bite and the first taste of the apple haul in coming months.
We will also plant some good keepers that will stay on the trees beyond our mega-pick for that juicy Apple Day in October and provide the retreatants with bitesize gems through the winter. Varieties include Adams Pearmain, Elstar, Cornish Aromatic, Tydeman’s Late Orange and the Sturmer Pippin, a visually unassuming yellowish apple but with the most delicious flavour - just the right balance of sweet and sour.
We will finish off the day with a winter pruning demonstration from our guest Ella Sparks from Mothertree Nursery in Dartington and time to take the apple quiz put together by our clever garden apprentice Amy.
If you are interested in reading up about apple pruning, planting or pressing, be sure to take a look at the Orchardlink website. Orchardlink is an organisation for orchard, apple and cider enthusiasts in South Devon and they have created a cache of helpful knowledge with membership and training open to all. A great resource.
See you on Sunday 10 February, wrapped up for a fun day in the field! We've got suggestions for what to bring and wear, plus details about how to get here and parking all on the event page here
Find out more about Sharpham's gardens here