I love having fruit trees in my garden. In our old house we had about 10 trees – we didn’t have an orchard or a massive garden, they were all grown as dwarf trees but produced a good amount of fruit each season.

So in my Cornish garden we put up a lovely undulating 8 foot trellis to grow espalier fruit trees. I wanted to get cherry, plum, cooking and eating apples -traditional Cornish varieties if possible.I got a Stella cherry tree which is supposed to be a good cropper and put that in last year when we had just redone the garden. It bloomed well and then was decimated by black fly. I just got 2 or 3 withered fruit in the end which was massively disappointing. Next year I will be inspecting the tree daily for signs of the little black critters before they make it their stronghold.

Kea plums are only found in Cornwall and were originally discovered growing along the banks of the Fal near Truro. The Tregothan estate grows the plums which they currently sell for  £12.90 a kilo! I phoned quite a few good nurseries before I found that the Duchy Of Cornwall Nursery near Lostwithiel sells them, but they didn’t have any in stock. However I left my details with them and some 3 months later they phoned me back to say they had had some delivered.

In December Dan and I went up to collect the kea plum tree and also found that they were selling Cornish Gilliflower apple trees. The apples of this tree are green/red and knobbly with an aromatic flavor so we got one of those too. And after discussing our needs with one of the very helpful nurserymen we finished our shopping by adding an ‘Arthur Turner’ cooking apple tree. This has large green/yellow fruit with very ornamental flowers.
We planted them straight away (well after Dan had dug out huge chunks of concrete and granite. Our garden is the old farmyard) and tied in the branches to the trellis. The trees seem to be doing well and I can’t wait for spring now to see them in blossom.

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