The mason bee season opens at Longney!

The mason bees are back at Longney.

Stuart Smith writes that the advice from the BeeGuardian project was to put the red mason bee cocoons in their release boxes as soon as they arrive.
They came on 31st March and were in place the same afternoon!

 

On the right-hand side of the tree guard is a nest tube holder, already stocked with a dozen cardboard nest tubes.

Blossom at Longney

Stuart Smith spotted this beautiful blossom in Bollow Orchard at Longney while preparing for the arrival of the red mason bee cocoons at the end of March.

 

This particular tree is a unique perry pear, meaning that its DNA fingerprint does not match any other perry pear in the National Collection at Hartpury.

 

Jim Chapman says this suggests that just the seedling rootstock remains and the grafted perry variety has died – but at least it makes a lovely show!

 

 

News and events from Hartpury Orchard Centre

posted in: Past Events | 0

Hartpury Orchard Centre has recently launched a new Facebook Group called Orchard Watch which invites all visitors to record the flora and fauna seen on their visit. If you join this group you will see regular updates and invitations to events such as Bioblitzes, Moth Nights, Bird Mornings and other family friendly occasions.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/939594460324806

Forthcoming events at the Centre include:

  • Sunday 24 April 2022 Blossom Day event – this will be a low key affair – just tap bar open from noon, but you can still walk around the orchard and down to the wetland/bird hide. https://www.nationalperrypearcentre.org.uk/
  • Sunday 1 May 2022 Dawn Chorus Walk 5.00 am followed by Breakfast at Orchard Centre
  • Sunday 22 May 2022 Rogation Church Service in orchard (note: the Tap-Bar will also be open)
  • Saturday/Sunday 11/12 June 2022 Moth night – all to be revealed over breakfast at Orchard Centre on the Sunday morning (weather dependent)

Plus there are Cider & Perry Courses with Peter Mitchell at the Centre.

https://www.cider-academy.co.uk/uk-courses/

Wolds End Orchard Blossom Weekend, 30th April-2nd May, Chipping Campden

Wolds End Orchard Blossom Weekend is not far away!  Join the Wolds End orchard volunteers over the spring bank holiday weekend from Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May to mark the start of this year’s growing season.

Come and enjoy what we hope will be a breath-taking pink and white mosaic across our 94 fruit trees, sitting within nearly three acres of ridge and furrow landscape on the edge of historic Chipping Campden.

In Japan, spring blossom is celebrated with the traditional custom of Hanami, which means ‘flower viewing’ and is an opportunity to take in the beauty of flowers. It’s a practice of restoration, an invitation to connect with plants and the soil; time to give yourself space to breathe, go slowly, walk mindfully and just be in the moment.

From late March to mid May the blossoms of apple, pear, plum, walnut and quince burst onto the scene: expect to enjoy everything from gossamer white through soft pinks and onto deep vermillion.

It’s not just about the fruit trees. We also have a ‘Shadow Orchard’ in the form of boundary hedges where you’ll also spot a variety of blossom including hawthorn, blackthorn, elder and wild damson as well as pussy willow catkins and maybe even some early wild rose.

The National Trust has a great Blossom Activity Pack on its website as part of it’s #BlossomWeekend activities.

The gate will open from 10.30am-4pm each day. Everyone is welcome – just pop in and have a wander around.

Note: the orchard is very uneven underfoot so ensure you wear appropriate footwear. Also, no dogs please as the orchard is a nature reserve as well as a working orchard.

Address:  entrance on corner of Aston Road and Back Ends, GL55 6AB. Parking: in the High Street, Campden School Car Park or public parking bays on Back Ends – no parking on site. 

Blossom time for pears, not yet for apples…

posted in: apples, blossom, mistletoe, orchard, pears | 0

Most of Gloucestershire’s traditional orchards are a mix of apples, pears and some plums – and this becomes particularly obvious, some distance away, at flowering time with the pears flowering first.

We can’t get out much at the moment because of the coronavirus restrictions but here are a few pictures (slideshow below) of the orchard at Standish Court, just south of Gloucester, taken yesterday and showing how the pear blossom picks out the pears from the apples.

In this particular orchard the contrast is heightened by the abundance of mistletoe – which grows readily on apple trees but rarely on pears.  So the apples are covered in mistletoe, the pears are covered in blossom.

Note too that there have been some recent losses – trees blown over – and that this may well be due, at least in part, to too much mistletoe.

 

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