Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Bee awareness.

I love our honeybees, I could go so far as to say I absolutely adore our bees, but they are not the only pollinators so we shouldn’t just concentrate on saving them.

These little ladies with the remarkable ability to cut so precisely may be in your garden.

Have you ever noticed little semicircles or circles cut out of your leaves? Then you possibly have Leafcutter bees.

Until we moved into Hesketh House, which is a wildlife magnet, I had never even heard of them – but apparently they are 10 times better pollinators than honeybees which is why they’re so important.

They are one of dozens of species of solitary bees meaning they live on their own and make little individual nests. As their name suggests, they cut out leaves and roll them up into tubes inside a tiny tunnel burrowed into wood – and in our case, an old beer barrel hoist on the front of the house with an extremely well used timber beam (seen above to the left of the front door).

They’ve come back for the last three years which is a huge thrill for us.

This is my new wisteria planted very recently to grow up the front of the house and is providing them with an easy source of nesting material – they obviously like it even more than the roses.

The sacrifice of a few holes in the leaves is well worth it for these industrious little pollinators, and I hope they continue to use our house for many years to come.

In fact, our roofer completed his restoration and had the scaffolding removed just as the Leafcutter’s returned for their new season…..a good thing too, because one of those posts was right against the wooden section they use!

#heskethhouseapiary #heskethhouse #BackyardBeekeeping #saveourpollinators #savetheleafcutterbee #leafcutterbees #solitarybees


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My hubby is having a little too much fun cutting the old whiskey barrels in half! Every time he cuts one all you can smell are the whiskey fumes and he wants to know if he can sit in the barrel for the rest of the day.
I on the other hand am feeling a little light headed just being near them – hic!


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When our eldest was about one her favourite television show featured a character called Victoria Plum but she couldn’t manage to pronounce it and instead she became Tolly Bum – and it has stuck for more than 30 years! Seeing as how they have helped fund my orchard it seems only fair to call the Victoria Plum tree after their family.
It makes me smile every time I think about it and no doubt it will bring many years of joy – just as they have. Thank you beautiful family!

So here is our first tree potted, about to be espaliered and ready for the garden…

…. and only 14 left to do!


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Being VERY new to gardening I have had to be advised on the types of fruit trees for my orchard; and in some instances just picked some that I really liked and that I know hubby will love – like the figs.

Here is what we will be planting, first into pots and then later in the year if the ground is ready we will move them into their proper location….

2 x Pinova apples

2 x Sunset apples

2 x Conference pears

1 x Victoria plum

1 x Stella plum

1 x Brown Turkey fig

1 x Madeleine des deux saisons fig (fruits twice a year)

1 x Avalon peach and Honey Kist Nectarine (this one has me confused because I thought I was getting two trees but it seems that this one has two varieties on the same tree – wow!)

1 x Sunburst Giesla 5 cherry

So all together that gives me a lovely semicentennial orchard of 12 trees but 13 types of fruit.

I am so excited because they are going to be gorgeous up against the long bare walls and make it look less like the Hesketh junkyard! I do need to keep reminding myself that this is a LONG term project and the trees will take quite a number of years to reach the full height of the wall but if I start to get fruit in the next two years it will make all the effort worthwhile.

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Having recently celebrated my big 50, I was very fortunate to have been given money towards an orchard for our as yet untouched garden.  I use the term ‘garden’ in the loosest sense of the word because presently it is just a piece of ground surrounding our house with random piles of Welsh slate roof tiles, dressed stone, unwanted timber for burning and a multitude of other building objects without a proper home but which I am loathe to dispose of in case they come in handy during our houses repair and restoration.  The rumours that I am a hoarder are vastly exaggerated and I will vehemently deny this at the same time as proclaiming how essential each item is for some project or other!  Moving swiftly on….

I researched, as usual, all the pros and cons of the varieties of fruit trees and suppliers and settled on a wonderful grower at Blackmoor nurseries.  They all arrived safely and are patiently waiting for us to plant them into their new pots on Saturday and then the fun can begin training them all onto espalier frames.  I am a rank beginner when it comes to gardening but even I can see a quality plant which has been grown, harvested, packed and despatched with extreme care; I can highly recommend them to anyone.  We plan to grow our trees on a long south-facing wall where they will not only look amazing but provide us with many years of crops for cooking, eating and hopefully a bit of country wine.


I wanted to say a HUGE BIG thank you to all my precious family and friends who contributed towards our Semicentennial orchard.  Each one of the trees will soon be sporting a little plaque with your name on it.

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We now have a fully fenced in garden.  A pity it cannot be used at the moment because the heavens poured on and off for most of the day and it actually looks a lot more like a muddy field.  Once these containers leave (didn’t happen on Friday as promised), they will clear the ground and we should be able to at least lay some turf until some money grows for us to do some landscaping – can anyone recommend a good variety of tree?

The garden is very wide and this is the Eastern section where I would like some veggies, herbs and a fountain – I can picture it already…..

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