Orchard news 2022
The Orchard Project in conjunction with Kingston University, led us in a restoration of an old apple and pear orchard, located to the rear of St. John's the Baptist Church, Kingston Vale. The trees are more than eighty - one hundred years old. A task planned for some time but postponed due to circumstances. We split into three teams to prune the trees, our objectives to encourage more horizontal fruit wood in 'open' trees, so that fruit would obtain greater amounts of light. We do not necessarily cut out the dead wood, as this is an important component for invertebrates.
A participant from the church team, took us to another orchard nearby, where there were old trees of a similar age, surrounded by newly planted and well tended fruit trees (apricots, apples, cherries and pears). This was at Kingston Hill Place, which has its own water gardens designed by the same partnership that designed the water gardens at Warren Road: John Gould Veitch and Henry Veitch, two well known plantsmen of Victorian and Edwardian times. They were particularly interested in flowering trees and shrubs, and displayed a fine selection in their nurseries at Coombe Wood, on land that was leased from Sir Arthur Paget, the owner of Warren House.
The octagonal lodge (1829) at Kingston Hill Place was once a rendevous for King Edward 7th and Lilly Langtree, and the tree - lined drive below is said to be the secluded route that his carriage took to the lodge.
More news from the orchards:
- At the Green Lane Orchard, it is hoped new trees will be planted in the coming weeks before Spring advances;
- At Berrylands Park, the protective cages have been trimmed where it looked like they could be interfering with the growth, and the bases weeded;
- a West London orchardist tells me 'Last year I grafted scions from “Horsford Prolific” I was then pleased to find that, according to Fruit ID, Horsford Prolific is shown by DNA to be synonymous with “Chelmsford Wonder” and “Mitchelson’s Seedling”', (Kingston's heritage apple);
- see Hanwell and Norwood Green orchard trail for details of an extensive apple trail; and;
- the Apple store, for now, still stands.