Archive for September, 2010

My Bramley apple tree was planted this year and produced only a small amount of blossom as expected, but has now produced some blossom in September.
Should I leave it on or remove it? Advice would be appreciated.

Anne Mitchell

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‘A 1944 Pastoral: Land Girls Pruning at East Malling’ by Evelyn Dunbar

‘A 1944 Pastoral: Land Girls Pruning at East Malling’ by Evelyn Dunbar is a little known painting, which is featured on our main web-site in a piece by Ian Harrison. It formed part of a touring exhibition, ‘Women’s Land Army during World War II’,  in 2009 and is on permanent display at Manchester City Art Gallery.  Ian suggests that this painting records for the first time pruning of fruit trees. Even more remarkable the task is being undertaken by a group women.

A friend thought that she remembered seeing pruning depicted in a painting by Pieter Bruegel, the Younger, entitled ‘Spring’ (c1624), which was exhibited at Leeds Castle in Kent. The painting is no longer on display and has been returned to its private owner, but Leeds Castle’s curator told Fruit Forum that it was almost identical to others by Bruegel bearing the same title and the one that comes up on  ‘globalgallery.com’. This carries the subtitle ‘Gardeners, Sheep Shearers and Peasants Merrymaking’ and on the right of the picture two men are working at a wooden tunnel-like arbour; these structures were a feature of gardens at this time and usually covered with vines. In the painting one man is on a ladder and the other standing on, possibly, a barrel. They may be tending a vine, but it does not  appear that they are pruning or cutting it.

The challenge remains  –  ‘has an artist before or since Evelyn Dunbar depicted the subject of pruning, either as a woodblock print engraving or painting?’

Fruit Forum

‘A 1944 Pastoral: Land Girls Pruning at East Malling’ by Evelyn Dunbar is reproduced with permission from Evelyn Dunbar; War and Country by Gill Clarke, published 2006 by Sanson and Company Ltd.

Fruit Forum also thanks Manchester City Art Gallery for permission to use this image, which is provided for personal study only and not for commercial use.

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Can anyone suggest some fun games that a class of children could play in an orchard?  I don’t want them to pick the fruits but I want to run a fun and educational activity about fruit/fruit trees/seasonality.  The children are 9 yrs old. Any ideas welcome!

Nina De Groote
Schools and Events Coordinator, Trees for Cities

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Avalon Pride Peach

Avalon Pride peach

I am pleased to read that other amateur gardeners are successfully growing Avalon Pride peach and I am grateful to Ian Harrison’s comments about his tree in the article of 5th September on your website.

I, too, have Avalon Pride in my garden which was planted in November 2008 and this year, 2010, for the first time, it fruited. My tree is grown as an open bush which had to be staked and supported because of the number of fruits; not 150!  I agree about the ripening period of late July/early August although the supplier suggested late August/September. I had some problems in thinning the fruit. A large number of the peaches had a small baby fruitlet attached at the base which was difficult to remove without damaging the parent itself. Brown rot  and ear wig  attacks were another problem experienced after some rainy days and I wonder if this can be treated against?

Otherwise, lovely fruit, worth every effort!

Mark Mirkovic

Image of Avalon Pride reproduced with permission from Suttons Seeds & Plants Ltd.

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Medlar growing in Seattle

I just tuned in to your comment section and found a picture of a medlar. I also have a medlar, setting fruit now, but I don’t know which kind. Can any one help identify it.

The medlar picture on the Blog has shiny green leaves, mine has fuzzy, lighter green ones. Some of the leaves have dry brown edges? Since I live in Seattle – not much sun this summer – I doubt it is sun damage?

Any light you could shed would be appreciated.

Brigitte Pitkin

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