Image: Orchard After
orchard after

Our brief was to turn a windswept corner of a field into an orchard, which would look attractive but require little in the way of maintenance. We diffused the wind by planting up a raised hedgebank on two sides, and planted the ditch on the third side with willow. Next, we planted compatible apples, pears, cherries, plums, damsons and greengages. To minimise maintenance (and maximise beneficial bees), we planted the grass area thickly with wildflowers. The only maintenance this attractive setup required was an annual strim and prune, and a layer of mulch on the trees. Apart from that it was just a case of mowing inviting paths between the trees so it was easy to enjoy the fruit in the autumn!