1 Nov 2012

Catching up and a new London apple

Autumn harvest
Autumn harvest - squashes, late ripening tomatoes, foraged rosehip jelly and syrup.
It's late Autumn, things are supposed to be slackening off but this year continues to rush by; there's lots still to do and it seems to be getting harder to spare the time to just sit still and write for the blog. Bad time management? Or maybe not; there's almost too much going on at the moment which makes it hard to find the time to gather my thoughts into a newsworthy post. I'm also feeling the lack of time to read my favourite blogs so apologise for the lack of comments, both here and elsewhere.

I've taken photos I'd like to post, I've had some good fortune, I've made foraged-for goodies, had a day trip to RHS Wisley gardens, started to clear the veg garden (and harvested some spectacular squashes in the process), picked lots of green tomatoes for ripening and made a start on sifting the saved seed pods from my 9-star perennial cauliflowers - and, of course, the Garden Design course is gathering momentum with lots of back to basics sketching, plant knowledge and a couple of assignments (due in very soon) - who knew there was such a lot to know about year round bulbs! I'm still loving it, though :)

New London Apple 
Image taken from
London Orchard Project
My intention is to catch up with several short posts but, for now, I can't wait to share the news of my good fortune.  The London Orchard Project have developed a new apple variety specifically for London, the first since 'Merton Delight' was introduced in 1953.  It's been 10 years in the making, is yet to be named and the first 100 trees are now almost ready to be planted ... and I've just been told that I'm to get one of those trees for the gardens here. I'm thrilled - but also wondering what rootstock (if any) it's grown on and what the maximum height may be. It's going to be a flavoursome, crisp apple, developed from a cross of Laxton Fortune and Pixie, both of which have strength and good disease resistance.  My tree will be planted in December;  I just have to pick the spot.  Carefully. Previous trees have grown tall and leaned into the sun's path.  There's also the not insignificant matter of ancient water pipes under the gardens; these days, nobody's too sure where they are.  So, careful thought is needed.  Any London-based readers who fancy growing one of these apple trees should check out this page on the London Orchard's website and suggest an appropriate name for the apple - either by tweeting or email.

On a completely different note, I've also won a portable barbecue from Notcutts!  I can't remember how I came to enter this one as I rarely bother with competitions but, there we are, a lovely cream barbecue duly arrived, ready for use next summer.  I'm hopeful that there WILL be a summer next year and am already planning a new layout and planting for the garden in my head!

8 comments:

  1. A busy, and interesting, post. Well done on winning the barbecue, I hope that you get to make good use of it next year. Flighty xx

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    1. I think the barbecue is of more interest to my teenage son but I'd be happy with good barbecue weather next summer so that I can spend more time in the garden! xx

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  2. Congrats on the barbecue. It did make me smile though what a time of year to win one. Here's hoping for sun and warmth next year so you can put it to use. I know what you mean about time. I'm forever comparing myself to others who seem to cram so much more into their lives but that just makes things worse. How great to have that apple to plant. It will be on a rootstock and I'm sure it'll be on one of the smaller ones. Few people now require the larger rootstocks. Sounds like you're loving the course. It's good to be busy but I think it sounds like we both need a bit of a breather ;)

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    1. Yes, I did wonder about the timing of the win, Welly - although I do have a tiny balcony that can be used. I've just finished putting the kettle bbq together and it has a smoke-free lid so I could possibly cook something without annoying the neighbours! (I wonder what barbecued veg tastes like?) I agree about the breather - wouldn't it be nice to be able to just sit down and read a book properly without interruption for a change!

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  3. Busy, busy, busy. Sounds like you haven't had time to draw breath. Most years I like the winding down of the gardening year, but somehow this year I feel we've been cheated of our summer but the nights drawing in have put paid to that. So will just have to wait it out till next spring. You're a lucky so and so always winning something. Congrats.

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    1. I'm always busy Elaine but throwing the college course into the mix has made me rethink how I can squeeze it all in - at the moment the mountain of ironing is taking a back seat! I agree that the summer never properly materialised - I need a nice long stretch of sunny days to feel that summer is here, with all the watering that entails. This year I can count on one hand the times I've had to water my veg, most have rotted in the ground or on the stem. Who knows what next year will bring, we'll carry on regardless, I suspect!

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  4. How exciting to be offered one of the new London apples Caro - I'm sure that you will be a caring guardian. I wonder what name it will be graced with. Hope that the weather improves enough next summer for you to make good use of the new barbecue.

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    1. I'd be well chuffed just to be given a fruit tree but to have a special new one like this is pretty thrilling! (How obsessed am I?) The name will be announced next week so I'll finally know what to call it. Really hoping for better weather next spring to give all my fruit trees a fair chance!

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Caro x

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