31 August 2009
I managed to get out the house for gardening shortly after 2pm. It was lovely. The swirling 36-hour mist had gone on and been replaced by brilliant late-August sunshine. The weather grumblers should be pleased, although there remains a decent breeze.
I’m sat beneath St James Hanging, a precipitous slope which has been regenerating naturally into woodland for as long as I’ve been here. I can hear the rush of gusting air through leafy boughs.
This sanctuary is a sheltered and sunny afternoon spot apart from in deep winter. Crocosmia juts through seasoned hazel hurdles and paints with mustachio’d orange brushes a welcome trespass in a corner which is largely green. Exceptions to this rule include white hogweed umbels, blowsy cream invites on hollyhocks, smatterings of mustard and dandelion yellow and pink-blushed temptations which dangle from the drooping apple trees.
Today the yield was three. Two Worcester’s and a Sunset. Other windfalls lie on the ground, too far gone for dessert consumption. Only five years old and grafted onto semi-dwarfing M26 rootstock, they’ve produced this year a lot of fruit. The Sunset is particularly well endowed. I’ve just counted 75 pieces still hanging and 36 on the Worcester, from which I’ve previously harvested half a dozen.
It worries me though. I’ve had to prune out a fair amount of canker from branches this summer and can see a 3.5 x 3cm big open wound slightly splitting sunken stain about 30cm up the trunk. If my diagnosis is correct this will at some stage cause the tree to fatally snap. Apparently the Worcester Permain variety is especially susceptable so, rather than fight it I have decided to let nature take its course and then replant something more resistant. In the meantime…enjoy!
A VIEW FROM CHERRY ORCHARD TO GUY’S MARSH AND LITTLE LONDON
A rolling field of rippling maize
A thick strip of oaken wood
A hedge diagonally away in front, some trees
Four hedges slicing the view from right to left
More trees, singly and in groups
A five-bar metal gate on chain
Hedges rough with honeysuckle, rose and thorn
Different shades of green and brown
Carder bees, robin’s pincushions
Blackberries ripening amongst the wicked twigs
Copyright, Joe Hashman