11th February 2011

Have just spent a whole day out in my new garden. Such pleasure. No builders and reasonable weather. I’ve made endless forays over the last four weeks: viewing the plot from every angle, checking the light, the wind direction, the views and what’s beginning to grow. I’ve made a few decisions. To divide the garden into three – the first part will be for sitting and eating out, the second will be an orchard planted in long grass, and the third, containing a 100 year old oak tree, will be underplanted with Kentish cob nuts, and inevitably – blackberries, and then left wild.

Am steaming ahead with the orchard, trying to get the trees in this year, and have ordered a range of wonderful 2-3 year old plants from Brogdale, holder of the National Collection of fruit trees at nearby Faversham. Together we’ve chosen a mixture of local apples, some standards on semi-vigorous stock (I hate those tiny stunted trees) and some espaliers: a pear, a medlar, an apricot (fingers crossed for fruit), a greengage, and some morello cherries. An ideal spot for my new flock in the autumn.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is to be a low maintenance garden. I don’t want to sacrifice productivity, so feel an orchard is slightly less work than a vegetable garden. I shall grow herbs and salads and a few perennial vegetables, and try to grow flowers mostly in containers, and no lawn that needs regular mowing. We’ll see……

We’re planning some courses in various venue around the country (seeCourse Page), but I hope to start small courses here in the autumn when I get my new birds.