In Coldstream, George Anderson meets Alec West who has an orchard jam-packed with apples, pears and plums - his fruit collection is said to be the biggest in Scotland.
It was a fine autumn day at Beechgrove this week and Jim and Carole were at the back of the Vegetable Plot looking at the cordon apples along the wall where there is a very promising crop.
These cordons are the oldest apple trees in the garden as they came from the original Beechgrove garden where they were planted by Jim and George Barron in 1978, and were moved to the current Beechgrove Garden in 1995. Jim explained that when they were moved they were ‘shuchted in’ (heeled into the ground) for a whole year because we didn’t have a place to plant them and then finally planted along the wall in 1996. All of them have been grown as cordons, which don’t take up much room, and still bear a good crop to this day. Varieties included ‘Lord Lambourne’, ‘Laxton’s Fortune’ and ‘Egremont Russet’.
Preparing half hardy perennials for winter Jim was in the greenhouse preparing cuttings of half hardy perennials and sub-shrubs for overwintering.
The cuttings were taken in August and they have rooted well – they include sage, artemisia, penstemon and helichrysum. Sage can suffer a real battering in the winter weather so it is worth
taking some cuttings. Jim explained that the rooted cuttings can be overwintered in their current pots. They will need to be fed with a half strength tomato or indoor plant fertiliser as there is no fertiliser left in the original compost.
If you have the facilities – ie the space and a greenhouse it is worth repotting individual
cuttings into 7cm pots. Jim demonstrated repotting with the cuttings from purple sage. He
potted them on into some fresh peat-free compost. This compost had been used previously
for fuchsia cuttings and Jim is pleased with the results. The cuttings need to be kept in a greenhouse at a temperature of 5-7 °C overnight until next spring. This means you will have nice new plants
by next April. Jim advised that plug plants should be watered before they are potted on as the roots as they dry out will grow into the new compost searching for water, whereas cuttings with loose roots should be watered after they have been potted on. The cuttings need to be gently firmed into the compost.
|Beechgrove Garden ep.24 2015|