Yesterday after Mass Benedict Ambrose and I went to the Royal Botanical Gardens. B.A. thought we were going somewhere for a nice walk, but I just wanted to see how the vegetable gardens were getting on. Having been bitten by the gardening bug late in life, I got it bad. But, happily, B.A. himself remarked that the Botanics were lovelier and more interesting than he remembered and wondered why we don’t go there more often.
The fruit and vegetable gardens were very social, for there was an apple fancier behind a makeshift counter with different examples of apples before him, and a woman standing guard over the (literarily) prize-winning community garden vegetable displays. The apple fancier was quite interested in our cider project and suggested that next year B.A. give a demonstration. This B.A. was reluctant to do. And, indeed without a car, it would be difficult to transport 14 or more kilos of apple bits to the Royal Botanical Gardens. (“Fortunately, we have here apples chopped up beforehand…”)
The layout of the fruit and vegetable gardens had very much changed since I was there earlier this summer, and the fruit was where I expected the vegetables to be. However, that was fine because I have been thinking about how to grow fruit trees and bushes along fences (espaliered) and wires (double cordoned) and there were several examples of these techniques. There were several kinds of apples, some pears, at least one plum, and a morello cherry. Inside large fruit cages (aluminium frames with plastic mesh) there were several carefully pruned bushes, including red currants, blackberries and tayberries.