Welcome back - we have been very busy here and the website has not had anything added for some time, or at least on the news front. I have been tidying up and improving a few things 'backstage'.
Blossom time is coming and it is earlier than last year. The first flower is out on the Siberian crab, I can't classify it as 50% open or even 25% yet but there are a couple of open flowers. I checked with my son whose James Grieve in Woking upset all my checks last year by opening earlier than miy James Grieve. Yes, it is doing it again! I suspect it might be the warmer, sheltered urban garden with light warm sandy soil. THis year my son has bought a George Carpenter (not yet on this website) They visited RHS Wisley in apple season testing out all the apples local to the Woking area and George Carpenter came out top on taste and was ordered from Deacons on the Isle of Wight as a Christmas present and taken back to Woking to be planted.
Blossom to come - this is Bramley's Seedling - this is what I classify as a bit more than 50/50 half open/half buds
This is not going to be a good year for apples, lack of a cold spell in the winter, poor flowering. Two of our trees have no blossom, Beauty of Kent and Tydeman's Late Orange and the Chiver's Delight is dead and has come out. We have several 'homemade' trees to replace it but Chivers was a particularly good apple. We have also lost a Pineapple Broom and a Rosemary - waterlogging I think.
The Siberian Crab (featured earlier on this news page) has finished flowering, much earlier this year as I note I took it's picture in full bloom on 5th May last year. John Downie is absolutely full out, and Arthur Turner is nearly over - as I said everything is early. We have had no frosts - down to 1 degree C in the greenhouse but I wonder how other people in less favoured spots are getting on? I am going to see a friend in Thorley next week with a fairly new orchard on heavy clay soil, I hope the very wet winter has not been too unkind.