Thursday, 3 January 2013

Middleton Village Orchard

The Middleton Village Orchard Project is now in the final stages of the renovation which began way back at the beginning of 2012. The main entrance of Main Street is open, and the orchard has now effectively been given back to the community to enjoy.

A path circumnavigates the grassy interior, with several benches provided for quiet contemplation. The mature trees have all been heavily pruned back after many years of neglect, and it will be interesting to see how they now perform when blossom time arrives in the Spring. In addition there are new plantings of native broad leaf trees, assorted shrubs, and a few additional fruit trees. A James Grieve dual-purpose apple has been sited against the back fence, presumably ready to train as an Espalier. There are also individual specimens of the cooking apple Grenadier, early season dessert apple Discovery, and both Concorde and Doyene Du Comice pear.

What was once a wild and neglected village eyesore has been transformed into a very usable, attractive, and much more accessible space as a result of the work that has been done. I'd have to say that right now it all looks just a little too tidy for my taste, but I'm confident that this will change as the orchard develops, and the new plantings have had the chance to establish themselves and mature over the coming years.


balleny said...

One memory of the old orchard was one evening seeing more than a dozen Blackbirds gorging themselves on rotting apples lying on the ground.This put me in mind of a scene from one of the nature programs in which Elephants had gathered round a tree in Africa and were getting drunk on the fruit they were picking. I wondered if the apples were having the same effect on the Blackbirds.

Mark said...

I have a similar photo of over a dozen Blackbirds under our own Bramley tree a few Winters ago. The Redwings appreciate windfalls too. Not much chance this year though, hardly any apples on anything. I seem to recall talk that there may be a Wassail in the orchard this year, I'll have to take a bit of cider over if it happens.

Fegrig said...

Sounds a positive addition to your village Mark