Fruit trees in spring

Posted: Wednesday 16 April 2014
by Pippa Greenwood

This time of year makes my heart sing. The days are longer and brighter, and filled with sounds that glorify my garden.

This time of year makes my heart sing. The days are longer and brighter, and filled with sounds that glorify my garden - and indeed the entire English countryside. At 6.30 this morning, my garden was breathtakingly noisy with bird song.  Their lodgings are a somewhat rampant boundary hedge of native plants.

As well as the birds, there’s another highlight of my garden in April. My mid-season daffodils may be starting to fade, but my mini orchard is coming into its prime. It seems like the most wonderful bargain: we spend many a happy hour debating which varieties of apple, pear, damson, plum and gage to grow. Decisions are made on the basis of various factors: previous growing experience; the deliciousness of a fruit's name; pollination groups; the likely culinary quality of each variety. Then comes the physical work of planting the trees and surrounding them with chicken-wire guards to protect them from deer and rabbits. In return, in just a few months' time, we'll have mouth-watering fresh fruit in our crumbles, pies and tarts.

In addition to the fruits of our labour, this time of year reveals another fine reason for growing fruit trees. They're the most stunning sight. A particular favourite of mine is the blossom-clad Prunus spinosa (a blackthorn whose  crops of sloe also happen to make the most divine sloe gin).

With such breathtaking beauty, and the prospect of full bellies, these trees beg the question: why grow ornamentals when you can grow stunningly beautiful edibles?

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flowering rose 02/05/2014 at 14:45

I agree ,fruit trees bring a lot of joy to a garden. The blossom is beautiful and looks confetti and the seeing the fruit on trees looks marvellous and you can eat it all and the same with fruit bushes. I am going to have all fruit trees from now on ,as old trees go and space occurs in will go a fruit tree. I have quince,apple,plum,greengage ,bramley and some small fruit trees I grew my self from cuttings .

Busy-Lizzie 03/05/2014 at 09:33

Yes, you get a double whammy with fruit trees. But I grow some ornamentals as well as the leaves are prettier in summer between blossom and fruit and there is more variety of autumn colour.

kaycurtis 23/05/2014 at 03:25

Looking forward to my blueberries, apples, strawberries hoping for some pears and cherries but have lost my peach tree and apricot!. really sad about that.