A Ghost of Gardens Past


A Ghost of Gardens Past

This is one of three fruit trees, once espaliered as divisions between the three tiny gardens of which our present one is made. The zig-zag trunk marks the position of the long lost horizontal branches, now just scarred over stumps. The wall behind, and the adjacent gable once had cordons – there are slots cut for them in the flagstone path that still runs the length of the whole piece of ground. The espalier that divided gardens 2 and 3 still exists, though now engulfed in honeysuckle and roses, and barely fruits. An espalier pear that divided gardens 1 and 2 ran across the vista we wanted of the Cheviot and, with much regret, we removed it. However, most of the flagstone paths remain in their original position. Cottages 1 and 2 now make up our house. Cottage 3, once roofless and used as a garage, has just had the nasty gates removed, a new stone wall built, and now makes a productive if tiny kitchen garden.
The tree in the picture is grafted on the old Paradise stock. This suckers heavily, so we’ve now got several independant plants which we intend to use as stock for grafting material from this tree – probably on its last decade if not year – so we can replant for future owners. It produces and abundant and delicious crop.

The entrance to Cottage 3, now the kitchen garden.  The doorway has been a trifle decorated.

The entrance to Cottage 3, now the kitchen garden. The doorway has been a trifle decorated.

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About david stuart

garden writer and journalist, and occasionally a designer, with a garden in the Scottish borders, and his pal's gardens in Edinburgh, London, and Lincolnshire. They keep both of us very, very busy. Books I've written listed on my website, and dozens of articles and garden and plant pictures. Currently working on several new projects. One of these was to return to painting - see the blog - and which is proving exciting! www.david-stuart.co.uk or, more fun, have a look at www.pinterest.com/davidcstuart
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