Life in the Highlands

Hello and thank you for looking at my Blog...i hope you enjoy my site. I'm pretty new to this but hope to keep it all updated with the progress of my garden. I've really enjoyed being able to start everything from scratch and the hard work has been worthwhile. I hope you enjoy seeing my progress too! Feel free to leave comments it's always nice to get feedback.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mid October 2006

I finished harvesting the first of the dessert apples, ‘Red Windsor’. I lost a few to earwigs and thinned quite a few as it was laden but still managed to get a good crop. The tree is now stripped bare and three other trees happily producing away and developing well. They all flower and fruit in succession, essential for pollination and also makes it easier to manage when cropping. Red Windsor produce nice medium sized apples with a nice sweet flavour, not quite as sweet as ‘Scrumptious’ but still sweet.

I picked the first two apples of ‘Scrumptious’ another dessert apple and these tend to be a fair bit larger than the Windosr’s but the flavour is really nice, the apple skins are naturally shiny too which also makes them appealing, and although they look completely red in the picture they are a dual colour. The flesh is white with a nice texture which is really sweet and juicy would be a favourite with children. Certainly you can’t beat home grown apples straight off the tree.

For anyone wanting to grow apples but worried about space I would recommend cordons, I have four trees in a 12ft space. They crop well enough to keep you going in apples and you can have more varieties in a small space cropping in succession. They are also very decorative and it’s amazing the amount of interest they generate.

Found a shield bug part of the 'stink bug' family again on the apple leaf...think he must be looking for somewhere to hibernate over the winter as turning from green to brown. They don't do any harm from what i can gather but they can exude an unpleasant smell if they feel threatened which if they happen to be going across your blackberries is left behind. Haven't seen these before in Highland so assume this is due to the hot summer we've had this year.

Rose 'Gertrude Jekyll' is still producing buds. It's a very pretty 'girlie' pink and has lovely shaped flowers. It is very fragrant and looks really attractive in the lower light levels of autumn, likewise in the summer at the end of the day it shines.

The yellow rose is ‘Golden Shower’, a climbing shrub rose and has grown quite well to cover a trellis and again is very fragrant.

Still blackberries to be picked and these are starting to ripen in earnest now. This is the second growing season for Blackberry ‘Chester’ and has produced very large fruit which is very sweet and full of flavour…very different to the brambles you see growing in the wild. An added bonus is that it’s also thornless. Despite it being the second growing season it’s still managed to produce a reasonable crop and put out new shoots to be tied in next year. I will have to move the bush though as I allotted 6ft of space it clearly isn’t enough and could do with twice the amount. Luckily I’ve a spot where I can move it too where it will have enough room to flourish.

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