28th March 2015
Today Ford and I laid a lawn. A lawn! It was a small one, but it's the first time I've enjoyed such a thing since I left my childhood home. I think this means I've finally grown up.
This was the culmination of a busy week preparing and planting the back garden. The little round lawn is in the sunniest spot in the garden, at the end of a fruitful journey. This begins with a curving path through a blackberry and apple arcade: blackberries trained over the arches, miniature bush apples reachable through the gaps between the arches. At the crossroads, you can turn right down gooseberry avenue or left towards the cherries and currants climbing the wall or, in time, the chicken house. If you go straight on, you pass through raspberry circus - 28 eight foot canes defining the edge of the inner garden, up which raspberries will be trained - and arrive at the yoga lawn, which is as wide as Ford is tall at full arm stretch. Around the lawn there are already strawberries, rhubarb, blackcurrants, a greengage, a damson and lots of herbs to come.
Ornamental flowers are not banned. Hopefully there will be an attractive collection going in the front bed next week. But obviously it's the fruit that gets priority at The Orchard. The great thing about designing a garden with fruit, other than the juicy payback, is the three-dimensionality of the planting, which makes it possible to pack so much into quite a small space.
For the true enthusiasts among you, here are the varieties already planted:
Apples: James Grieve, Katy, Lord Lambourne
Blackberries: Black Butte, Obsidian, Oregon Thornless, Waldo
Blackcurrants: Ben Lomond, Ebony, Malling Jet
Cherries: Morello, Rheinische Schattenmorelle, Sunburst
Damson Shropshire Prune
Gage Reine Claude de Bavay
Gooseberries: Hinnonmaki Green, Hinnonmaki Yellow, Invicta
Raspberries: Joan C, Polka, Tulameen,
Redcurrant Red Lake
Rhubarbs: Reed's Red, Timperley, Livingstone
Strawberries: Flamenco, Alice, Delia
Whitecurrant White Grape
And still space for a lawn!