Planting two apple trees

I mentioned that we’d moved house last month. Aforementioned new abode not only comes with that most decadent of accessories; a garage (no more losing washers between paving slabs for this amateur cycle mechanic), but also a disturbingly large garden.

(To clarify, we’re not talking acres here, but for someone of my limited horticultural horizons being able to stand in the centre and not touch all four boundaries suggests a concerning expanse of Stuff That Might Die.)

Staggeringly, Ms DarkerSide has even less green fingers than me, and has washed her hands of the whole gardening affair (with a certain amount of glee, I might add). Therefore I’ve been left to my own devices with an awful lot of rather waterlogged grass at the back, and some kind of tree-y hedge (stop me if I’m getting too technical) and what looks worryingly like a young poplar at the front. Plus an array of “gardening for idiots”-type books provided by my amused family.

To kick-start the process, my darling mother decided that what we absolutely needed were a pair of apple trees. And not just any apple trees; having resurrected the near-extinct Wareham Russet in a memorial orchard project south of the border, she’d dug out Scottish Fruit Trees – a provider of local-ish varieties.

After a slightly bizarre trip to the West End of Glasgow (who’d have thought that there was a tree nursery sandwiched between a load of tenement flats?), we were the proud owners of a Cambusnethan Pippin:

Attractive eating apple: arose either in Clydesdale around 1750 or possibly earlier at Stirling. According to David Storrie “an excellent scab-free desert apple popular in both the east and the west.”
Scottish Fruit Trees, Cambusnethan Pippin

and an Arthur Turner:

Buckinghamshire, 1912. Healthy and reliable in much of Scotland including Ullapool and Tarbert. “Falls” on cooking, needs little sugar, good for baking. Large fruit.
Scottish Fruit Trees, Arthur Turner

(OK, that last one isn’t from Scotland, but it apparently grows like a triffid and might be slightly less fussy on the soggier side of the garden.)

So, on to planting. First we marked out an appropriate circle to de-turf (a 622mm Schwalbe ZX was used – other cycle tyres are available).

Marking out the circle for the tree

We then dug out the grass and made a small heap of compost (recommended as a way to get the root ball slightly further away from the really wet soil). Assistance was ably rendered by Small Child #1.

Building a compost heap

Master Turner was then deposited in the hole, staked in, and generally provided with all the love a growing tree needs.

Arthur Turner in hole

We then did the same thing again for the Cambusnethan:

Cambusnethan Pippin in hole

(And then went back and redid the Turner, as comparing both trees suggested we’d made a bit of a hash of it the first time round.)

Tree report (planting + 1 month): both appear to still be alive.

Long may this continue…

PS: Photo at the very top is from Scottish Fruit Trees, and shows a flourishing Cambusnethan fruit.

PPS: Firefox is adamant that instead of “Cambusnethan” I’m trying to type “Rambunctiousness”. I’d love to see the logic behind that match…

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