How does your garden grow?

I'm on a voyage of discovery in my first garden.
It's mostly about the veggies at the moment but I'm also discovering lots about flowers and other plants - quite often the hard way and always on a very tight budget.
But this blog is not just about my garden, it's about all the things I see and discover in Sussex and beyond and I would love to hear from you too.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Fruit trees: Pleaching to the converted

Until a few weeks ago I had dispelled the idea of growing fruit in my garden.
Soft fruit would get picked off by birds and mice and there simply isn't enough room for an apple or pear tree... or is there?
On a recent visit to the Kent Life Museum near Maidstone I noticed their farmhouse garden had a low step-over hedge of dwarf apple trees, which set me thinking about my own garden.
I had already learned about pleaching and espalier from my in-house experts and wondered if dwarf trees could be trained between the posts that support a railway sleeper retaining wall.
I consulted my wiser and green-fingered other half and, to my delight, he agreed it would be a fine idea.
An early visit to a nursery taught me that there are grades of root stock which determine the size of the tree. The M27, I have learned, is not just the motorway running from Sussex to Hampshire, it is also the most dwarfing of apple rootstocks and grows to about 2 metres. It might also come as no surprise to learn that the M25, on the other hand, is very vigorous and produces a large tree.
As when driving, I think I'll avoid the M25 for now.

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