13 May 2015
It is the time of year for beautiful blossom. All of a sudden a bumper crop is in bloom – pinks and whites – a sure sign that spring has arrived.
Almost every sized house I look round – whether it is a small country house or a grand rectory – has an orchard. One could argue it is an essential part of country life to have several fruit trees in your garden.
With the blossom out, it is the best time of year to buy a country house. But it is fleeting, with only a window of a couple of weeks while it looks fabulous before it has blown away and is littering the ground. Perhaps this is what makes it so special.
The beauty of fruit trees is that they are not high maintenance. Lots of people have old orchards and never do anything with them apart from enjoy the blossom when it comes and pick the fruit. Or if you don’t have an orchard, it is a very easy process to establish one. All you need is a handful of trees - a variety of plum, pear, cooking apple and greengage.
If you are in the market for seasonal food that you’ve grown yourself, is pesticide-free and you don’t mind a few blemishes, an orchard is a must-have.