As we enter the final few days of May our apple trees are in full blossom.
When I drove into the kitchen garden, this morning, to cut the grass it was warm and very still. I noticed some bees around the orchard area so I shut off the mower to look and listen. It was just heaven. The apple trees are heavy with pink and white blossom and honey bees, hover flies and various other insects were buzzing away gathering the pollen and helping to pollinate the flowers. If you think about it, a lovely flower in the last days of May turns into a juicy apple in just a few months. It costs you nothing, you do nothing the tree and its insect helpers just go through their annual cycle and in August and September you are presented with a crop of fruit. Some years good, some not so good. We still have a couple of possibly original Victorian apples against the wall. They produce a little fruit every year but the real bumper producers are our recent plantings James Grieve, Discovery and Katy. One Discovery tree produced over 30 apples in year two and this year is heavy with blossom again. Nature’s bounty.
Earlier this month the final section of the lime avenue was cut down. Over two years we have removed over 30 limes which date back to the original tree planting and garden design of around 1880. To some it was sad to see these trees go but they were diseased and dangerous so we are happy that we had made the correct decision as it has allowed a huge change to some of the hill views, opened up the lawns and generally created a more spacious feel. We will be replanting the driveway, but not this year. The owners are taking a little time to reflect on the changes before deciding on what species fit in best to the Palace experience. We could see something with heavy spring blossom and good autumn colour....possibly.
Earlier this month we had a very unusual visitor to our ponds for a few days. A male Mandarin duck took up residence and to see his vibrant colours and cocky posturing was just great. I managed a quick picture but nothing does his natural colours justice other than seeing him in real life. A privilege.
We look forwards to seeing you in the Palace grounds and as ever, if you would like to know something about the grounds or trees or plants, find us and ask. Innes