With such a cold wet spring and summer, bees were in short supply when all the fruit trees needed pollinating. We had plenty of blossom, in fact masses of it, but hadn’t realised that the flowers weren’t being pollinated, in future I will have to go round all my cordon fruit trees with a paint brush, buzzing as I go! Our Bramley apple tree was here when we came and is now rather large, far to big for me to pollinate it, but this tree at least has had a reasonable amount of fruit which we picked the other day.
This was the Bramley apple tree in May this year, absolutely smothered in blossom, but only a small fraction of the flowers must have been pollinated because only one basket of fruit was collected.
Some of the skins don’t look too good, would certainly be rejected by the supermarkets, but inside they are lovely. Normally we have so many, we are giving loads away to daughter, DIL and daughter’s MIL, sorry, this time there is just enough for us!
To help reach the ones that husband can’t reach from the ladder, we use the pond net, a sharp tug against the stalk of the apple and it lands in the net, well most of the time it does, a few nearly knocked me out, only just missed!
The windfalls don’t go to waste, the birds and butterflies make good use of them, there must have been at least 8 Red Admirals feeding on the apples when we arrived here to start picking.
Most of the windfalls are in the shade, so the butterflies soon find a sunny post to rest on so they can warm up again.
Still a few apples at the top left hand corner that remain out of reach, what I need is my grandsons to come and climb the tree for us!
Do you like my basket, I went to a one day basket weaving course many years ago and this is the result. The tutor was from the Somerset Levels where they grow the willow and we all achieved various shaped baskets. It was hard work, my fingers were so swollen the next day, but worth it I thought.
When starting to re-organise the border at the side by the field, we found so many brambles climbing through my shrubs. They didn’t go to waste, that night we had Blackberry and Apple Crumble for pud!
So nice to get our food from the garden, it hasn’t been a good year for a lot of things in the fruit and vegetable garden, but the cooking apples have done well, nowhere near as many as usual, but the apples that we have are so much larger and the blackberries were a bonus that we weren’t expecting. They tasted delicious with a helping of Cornish Ice cream!