The Old Rectory

Kingston,

Isle of Wight

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An occasional (depending on how busy I am gardening!) comment on beautiful plants or moments as they happen in our garden.

Springtime in the Orchard

By roses382, Apr 19 2019 07:55AM

When we arrived here 16 years ago, there was a grass paddock to the East of the house. In our first winter here, we planted native hedging to enclose this space, and filled it with fruit trees on vigorous rootstocks where available, to recreate the atmosphere of ancient Orchards, and to fill the kichen with produce.

We planted pear, plum, apples of course, medlar, quince, crab apples, and some ornamentals for blossom including magnolia and cherry. In the intervening years, Rambling Roses have been planted to wrap around the trees and provide interest over the summer months between blossom and colouring of the fruit.

Over the years many hundreds of Narcissi have gone in. The season starts in March with the diminutive but cheerful 'Tete a tete', albeit a rather garish yellow (but in March I am grateful for this!), and then carries on with a succession until May when finally the Pheasant's Eye flowers. Currently I am enjoying the soft creams and pale yellows of 'Cheerfulness' and 'Yellow Cheerfulness' which are deliciously scented and wonderful for cutting. We let the grass grow long and untidy after flowering, and just mow paths through, which further creates the effect of romantic neglect.

The Orchard is also where we have just buried little Sophie, our first Sausage dog, under the Weeping Cherry, in the sunshine that she loved. I have planted Cowslips over her and a small pot of Narcissus Eystettensis, an ancient special daffodil that dates to 1601, creamy yellow with double flowers.

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