Wednesday 2 March 2011

Bursting buds

Some of my fruit trees are beginning to burst into life. That makes it sound as if I have loads of trees, doesn't it? Actually I have the grand total of three and they are only little Minarettes! This one is the "Conference" pear:

This one is the "Scrumptious" apple:

And the "Victoria" plum hasn't stirred into life just yet, so I haven't photographed it.

This year I have gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that there is NO WAY that my fruit trees can complain of lack of nourishment. I have fed them over the last few weeks with pelleted chicken manure, Vitax slow-release plant food (the one specially for fruit trees), and then today some Growmore liquid general fertiliser. I will also be making a big effort to ensure that the trees get plenty of water in a couple of months' time when the fruit begins to set. I want the trees to look their best for the camera, and produce a crop that I can proudly write about. See what blogging has done to me!

This one is not a fruit tree, but it still looks like a bursting bud. Rhubarb...

Regrettably I don't have a lot of rhubarb either - just two crowns. I had three but one died before it got established. They are not in an ideal situation either, being sited in a place where the soil is fairly poor and which doesn't get enough sun, but I was determined to squeeze some in somewhere. I pride myself in having a very productive plot, even though it is pretty small, so sometimes I have perhaps been a bit over-ambitious.

Last week we had some lovely rhubarb, which we bought at a greengrocer's shop in that village New Alresford that I wrote about. It was massive. Just three stalks weighed-in at a total of 750g. Jane roasted it in the oven, covered with foil, with ginger, orange juice and orange zest. It was delicious - especially with some fresh custard. This will be a hard act to follow...


  1. Hi Mark, I checked my dogwood after your post the other day, and mine have buds too. I usually chop it in March I think. When are you gonna? My rhubard is about the same size as yours and mine is shaded too; we'll have to compare stalks & harvest later lol. Jane's recipe for the rhubarb sounds good, but she must have used sugar??

  2. Oh, it only seems like yesterday when I was checking all the deciduous trees for signs of it is autumn already. What is happening to my life? Zoom, zoom, zoom. That's what happens when you leave work. Nothing to measure the time by...timetables, deadlines, weekends, meetings etc. *sigh* I think I move over to your place so I can have another summer.

  3. Wow you have several fruit growing in your garden. I don't have any deciduous fruit tree at all. Looking forward to see them bear fruit in your place.

  4. Good luck to the buds. Looking forward to a harvest. I have ciku, rambutan,mango, guava, starfruit but none are fruiting :( Food, food, we need food they say!!

  5. Oh the rhubarb looks lovely, so what does it do during winter exactly? Die off and then come back from the crow as it warms? I love signs of life on a plant, so exciting to watch things happen... I'll be very interested to watch your pears grow, now until I find a tropical variety that's something I can't grow!

  6. Ali; Yes the rhubarb is a long-lived perennnial. When it dies down at the end of the season it just retreats below ground level and waits for next year, when it puts up new shoots. We encourage it to come back even stronger each year by feeding it all sorts of nice things - like pelleted vchicken manure in my case. Concerning pears - why don't you grow "Asian" or Nashi pears? I would expect them to do well in your part of the world.

  7. The roasted rhubarb sounds lovely, so the only sweetener came from the orange juice? Lovely photos of your garden coming to life!

  8. Just to clarify something in connection with the method of cooking rhubarb that I mentioned yesterday (I hadn't intended it to be a recipe, but...) It does need some sugar in the dish. Jane used some dark brown Muscovado.
    This was something we learned to cook at Katharine Fulvio's Ballyknocken Cookery School last year.


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