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Windswept apple blossom

Apple tree at River View Pateley dales holiday cottage in Nidderdale

We are nowhere as near along with our orchard as we would like at River View Pateley. The paddock at the back of the holiday cottage is as full of ancient bailer as it was at the end of autumn, and still has a couple of stubborn twice burned logs that survived a summer's camping as well as bonfire night. Frost was our enemy over winter, and although we managed to get a couple of rogue elders felled to give the trees more light to grow, the ground was frozen for much of the season.

Our two apples on the bank are listing and drunk looking. This was down to bad digging on my part, although I kid on they are some kind of installation piece to make passers-by smile.

The old apple, on the other hand is a venerable triumph. She is sitting pretty this May with her delicate white gown, trailing petals where she can in amongst the tufty grass left by the visiting sheep nursery. She makes us smile every time we look at her, and is an inspiration for the next few months. With all our lack of know-how, perhaps whips were a little ambitious for the first try. We'll be off to the garden centre for some well established trees instead!

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