Spring blossom on apple trees

by Adam Pasco

Development seems slower this year, but it's amazing how a few days of warm weather brings everything on.

Spring blossom and buds on an apple treeAfter such a long and hard winter I’m more eager than ever to see the first apple blossom open. Development seems slower this year, but it's amazing how a few days of warm weather brings everything on. By the end of April I’m hoping to be enjoying blossom like that shown in the photograph, left, taken late April 2009.

Seasons have a habit of catching-up, but to be honest I've almost forgotten what a normal year is now our weather patterns have become so unpredictable.

Warmth encourages flower buds of apple trees to swell, flushed with pink, before the pure white flowers burst open. As my main reason for growing apple trees is for their fruit, I'm keen that the trees produce abundant blossom, and also that there will be plenty of bees to enjoy it. Flitting from flower to flower and tree to tree the'’ll transfer pollen between flowers to ensure pollination. Because, of course, without bees there would be no pollination, and no pollination means bare trees with no fruit.

Throughout April I'll also keep my fingers crossed that night frosts stay away. These are very damaging to fruit blossom, and are one reason why despite a good show of flower no fruit is forthcoming. Those delicate inner parts of a flower are easily killed by cold, so even if their petals remain unscathed the flower cannot set fruit.

I grow about 10 different varieties of apple in my garden. Anyone looking for an abundance of bloom should make their way to the Blossom Weekend at Brogdale Farm in Kent on Saturday 17 April and Sunday 18 April 2010. Brogdale is home to the National Fruit Collections, with 150 acres of orchard filled with 2,200 varieties of apple, plus much more: a breathtaking sight!

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Gardeners' World Web User 05/04/2010 at 15:31

ive planted my first apple tree this weekend in the mother in laws garden in the middle of her daffodil circle could you tell me the type of daffodil that has 18 petals 3 rows of 6 all different types of yellow with like a crovat centre instead of a trumpet 1 its beautiful

Gardeners' World Web User 05/04/2010 at 20:55

Do they make anything will help delay when the blossoms come on? I live in the mountains and when we have early spring weather we usually loose our blossoms to a hard freeze.

Gardeners' World Web User 05/04/2010 at 21:48

Michael, there are hundreds of varieties of daffodils available, so certainly couldn't identify this without seeing a picture, I'm afraid. And Mountaineer, there isn't anything you can do to delay fruiting. However, when choosing fruit varieties for cold districts it's so important choosing late flowering varieties. Ask for advice from alocal nursery/garden centre if you have one, or write for advice from specialist growers. Also ask other gardeners in your area which varieties have proved reliable. If flowers do start opening when frost is forecast then try (if the tree is small enough, to throw a fleece blanket over the whole thing overnight to provide a little protection. Remove again in the morning when conditions have warmed up.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/04/2010 at 07:21

pleaseeee help ! i have a wall basket , that sits on my front porch wall . Last year , i planted geraniums that , grew "out" at an angle . I,m assuming it happened as i have aoverhang from my porch , and the plants were in the shade .What plants would be suitable ? Thankyou .

Gardeners' World Web User 07/04/2010 at 09:53

Reply to Scoobydooby: There are so many plants to choose from, but your choice does depend on quite how much light the wall basket gets. For shaded positions I'd recommend evergreen, variegated ivy to trail down, plus try impatiens, and possibly fuchsias if not too shaded. Begonias might be OK, especially trailing varieties or types of Begonia semperflorens. Others to consider include nepeta, helichrysum, scaevola (fan flower), and others. Also consider hardy perennials like heuchera and ferns. Many houseplants would also be suitable, including spider plants.

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