On Saturday myself and Hero went to a Plant Heritage lecture by Nick Dunn of The Tree Shop in Tenbury Wells. It will be no surprise that this lecture was about trees, both fruit and ornamental, and was inspiring and encouraging. So both spurred on and fired up I set about sorting the peach and nectarine fan(ish) trained trees in the greenhouse. They say pride comes before a fall and the year before last I confess I was perhaps a little cocky about the abundant harvest produced by these trees (I probably said dripping or festooned or the like). Last year I did a nose dive into shame as pollination was poor and the fruit that did set were nothing to boast about. There is a reason for most things and a combination of weather, shading by the tomatoes and the curse cast by a slighted witch were probably to blame. I have been sulking ever since. So today, whilst the county weather of mizzle/drizzle/rain persisted outside I attempted to lavish a little love on the under performers. I picked off mumified fruit, I scrubbed the wooly aphid, retied branches and removed dead plant material. I am feeling much more optimistic now. The peach has many flower buds, the nectarine plenty, all of which I hope will hold back for a few weeks until a few more insects are buzzing about otherwise we will have to dress up in our bee outfits and do it ourselves.
This is Helleborus x hybridus “Harvington Double Pink”. She was welcomed into the fold last winter and came from Swines Meadow Nursery. It is much prettier picture than the one of the wooly aphid infestation. I always like to accentuate the positive.