This week’s session at Blickling was easier- at least to begin with- than the previous few. Norfolk Peter and I were detailed to measure out the positions of the new trained fruit around the edges and across the middle of the Walled Garden.
Placing and tying in canes to mark the planting positions was pretty straightforward around the perimeter- Mike plans for these to be vertically planted and then trained. Then we needed a bit of discussion about the central path, where Mike wants to put in some angled cordons for apples and pears. Putting them all in at 45 degrees and pointing the same way proved problematic; we ended up with plants placed too close to the concrete footings of the metal posts and some cordons would have to wrap around the corners or there would be gaps at the upper sections if we stuck rigidly to the spaces between each post…
After a bit of trial and error we came up with a combination of outwardly angled and a vertical espalier for each complete stretch of the wire and posts; this would mean some cordons growing over the intermediate metal posts and the angle would have to be steeper than 45 degrees. But overall it seemed to be a pleasing arrangement, and after they were in place I could see two other advantages; the design would visually slow you down as you proceeded along the path (rather than being hastened through if they had all be pointing in the same direction) and the angles nicely framed the other central path where these cross.
The rest of the volunteers were off digging over the parterre alongside the Hall, removing dead or dying Catmint and roses and replanting with new stock.
After lunch, having finished off the cane placing, Peter helped Mike measure up the splendid carved oak top trim for the new noticeboard and I barrowed in some soil and manure along the borders in the walled garden in preparation for the planting out of the many new plants that seem to be arriving in time for my next session… so next time it will be more gardening, less construction.
Old School Gardener