Creating Cromey continues, and in recent weeks attention has turned to the orchard. Planted in the upper corner of what will eventually be the vineyard, the Cromey orchard is no ordinary one. Instead, this 2 acre area of land is going to host a Conservation Orchard, which is one made up of valuable old species of trees that need to be preserved. Because of the importance of the project, we received a local government grant to help with the sourcing of trees and the planting.
So far, 21 trees, the majority of which are 15-18 feet tall, have been planted next to some already established walnut trees. There are 4 varieties of pear, 5 varieties of apple, 4 verities of plum, 4 varieties of cherry, 2 hazelnut trees, 1 walnut and 1 quince tree. From the Cromey orchard you can see another conservation orchard that was planted by one of our neighbours. It is really satisfying to think that together we are going to have a very healthy and abundant corner of the valley, bursting with fruit trees and vines.
But, it is not all about the trees, as we want to encourage the bees to come to the orchard too, where we plan to have some hives. So, bordering the plantation is a hedge made up of eight different melliferous shrubs. These shrubs are all lovely in their own right but most importantly they are shrubs that will attract bees. Each one flowers at a different time has the year, keeping the bees happy as well as all who visit.