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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:34 pm

Been a very good year for plums this year, I grow several varieties as some club members know to their enjoyment.
First photo is of the last of a good crop of fully ripe Victoria plums, they are growing next to the large, still green very late variety called Marjorie's Seedling plums, these ripen to a beautiful deep purple almost black colour in September/October. I love plums so I planned it to have a succession of plums from early July starting with the small but deliciously sweet Opal plums some of you tasted at Majdi's to the Marjorie's Seedling plum in September/October.
Next pic is another Swedish variety called Jubileum, it's like a much larger and sweeter Victoria plum and ripens after the Victoria.
Last photo below is of our locally famous Denbigh Plum, now officially recognised as growing here in Denbighshire since 1780 and celebrated by the Denbigh Plum Festival that takes place in Denbigh town centre in October every year.
From its healthy vigorous growth and propensity to produce a large crop (as you can see from pic) it's often advertised by growers as self-fertile, it isn't, it still needs a polliniser!
Any self fertile plum will cross fertilise it though, I use 5 self fertile varieties hence my good crop.
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Marjorie's Seedling.jpg
Marjorie's Seedling.jpg (90.27 KiB) Viewed 89 times
Jbileum Plum.jpg
Jbileum Plum.jpg (64.68 KiB) Viewed 89 times
Denbigh Plum.jpg
Denbigh Plum.jpg (68.43 KiB) Viewed 89 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:13 pm

Yesterdays club meet up at Alan's was actually quite pleasant despite the continuous drizzling rain and it didn't help me getting the time wrong and turning up at 3.00pm instead of 2.00pm.
Alan did us proud as there was delicious tasting hot barbecued lamb burgers and chicken thighs plus a good spread of cold sausages, pies and an assortment of cakes, biscuits, beer, etc, all in all an excellent spread. I feel it was such a pity after all this effort by Alan and his family that only two other club members turned up besides myself and one of these had travelled all the way from Liverpool!
It is the lowest attended club meet to my knowledge since I joined in September 2006, we can do better than this, yes we can!

There's some good news regarding the next few months club meetings, we can continue to meet at the Farmer's until the New Year as it's now under offer but not sold yet, nor likely to be any day soon.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:55 am

Spring's a long way off but it's getting time to start planning what to grow next year, as a reminder I've received 4 seed catalogues in the last week.

A couple of reminders that winter's on its way are that the central heating has started to kick in over the last few days and the leaves on the trees are just starting to change colour.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:53 am

Leaves changing colour!;
Yes I also noticed that this past week Colin.
I went fly fishing up to Llandegla moor on Wednesday and noticed a remarkable change in the trees along the A525 route through the Vale of Clwyd. They appeared more coloured on the higher ground rising from Ruthin and up through the heavily wooded area of Graig-fechan, a lot more yellows and browns showing and masses of bright scarlet Rowan berries glowing in the early morning sun around Llandegla moor. The moor looks very pretty this time of year, masses of purple heather and ling still in bloom contrasting with the rafts of bilberry bushes turning bright umber, there are hundreds of Rowan and Ash dotted around the hillside that are now on the change, every shade from pale green and yellow ochre to brown.
The bonus here after Wednesday is more frozen rainbow trout for next club meet!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:31 pm

Each year we fruit growers are quite often faced with the pleasant (usually!) problem of too much fruit.
One of our neighbours who also grows a lot of plums, pears, apples and tomatoes came up with a novel solution to this annual dilemma a few weeks ago, a food hydrator!
We were so impressed by the taste of the end products, dried apple rings and dried pears, we went home and eventually ordered one (not the same type or make as our neighbours) and it arrives tomorrow.
One caveat here is I actually looked on quite a few websites for numerous reviews of the best performing and best value food driers as the one thing you can guarantee on the internet is the wildly fluctuating prices and opinions for the exact same product!
I never realised they are so popular and there is a bewildering choice from £20.00 + for the basic models to well over a thousand pounds;
"You pays your money and you takes your choice!"

Here below is a picture of a good crop of my Comice pears that hopefully some should dry nicely in a few weeks time.
The problem with pears is they all ripen within a few short weeks as they don't keep like apples do so I end up giving a lot of them away.
Attachments
Comice pears.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:21 pm

A reminder below of a visit to the Western Rocks, Isles of Scilly this summer. This grey seal had it's picture taken whilst kipping on the sheltered side of Melledgan with a whole tribe of it's relatives.
It looked really laid-back and slowly opened one eye as the boat passed, it looked like it was saying, "What boat?"
Melledgan is a two and a half acre lump of rock or mini-island which is a favoured pupping area and haul-out spot for Atlantic Grey seals.
The picture below it is the weather side or South Western side of Melledgan.
The breakers roll in uninterrupted for hundreds of miles from the western Atlantic ocean before slamming into the Western Rocks with enormous force. It was a relatively calm day but you can see the heavy ground swell in the sea just after a big wave had broken over the rocks. It's little wonder the rocks are so dangerous to ships as hundreds of lives have been lost here in the past, some rocks are barely visible on a good day!
About two miles to the south west of Melledgan lies the isolated rock that has the once notorious Bishops Rock Lighthouse on.
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Grey Seal.jpg
Grey Seal.jpg (97.01 KiB) Viewed 45 times
Melledgan weather side.jpg
Melledgan weather side.jpg (61.39 KiB) Viewed 45 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:08 pm

Walking up Barmouth high street last Friday ( in between the rain showers) I spotted the sign below in a café window, appropriately called The Lunchbox .
What a kind and thoughtful gesture, it does a lot to restore my faith in mankind!

We had a family meet up at Dolgellau this last weekend to scatter my brother in laws ashes on the top of Cadair Idris as per his wishes so we came the long way on Friday and stopped at Harlech for a doggy break. The sun came out in a very welcome lull in the showers so we had a leisurely stroll along their beautiful beach with it's wonderful views across the bay to the Lleyn Peninsula; And with only four people with a dog sharing it, spotted about a mile away.
We carried on down the coastal road to Barmouth for lunch at the well known Davey Jones Locker then another good walk on the beach and sand hills there.
It's very pleasant as beaches go but not as wide, vast and unpopulated as Morfa Harlech is, but still with some pretty spectacular views of majestic mountains across the Mawddach Estuary including Cader Idris.
The longer more gradual climb up Cadair is via the Pony Path route rather than the shorter steeper climb up from Minffordd.
Walking up the 'Pony Path' from near 'The Gwernan' on Saturday morning with 9 of my in-laws and two little dogs I spotted another sign placed on the side of the track about a third of the way up Cadair Idris, again put there through kindness and respect= see below. It reads;

In memory of
WILL RAMSBOTHAM
Pudsey and Bramley A.C
Shrewsbury and Machynlleth
Cader Idris Race winner with the record time of 1 Hour 25 minutes
on Saturday 5th June 1993
who was tragically killed climbing on Cader Idris on Sunday 6th June 1993.
This stone was laid in his memory
by members of the Cader Idris Race Committee.

A well repected Yorkshireman!
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A kind gesture.jpg
A kind gesture.jpg (68.46 KiB) Viewed 18 times
Christian act 2.jpg
Christian act 2.jpg (47.28 KiB) Viewed 18 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Barmouth beach last Friday 15th September. the two yachts in foreground on left I recognised as Westerly's, a make of yacht I have sailed on regularly and am very familiar with.
The foremost blue yacht to the left of the R.N.L.I. boat with the man standing at the bow is a mid 1970's 23ft.Westerly Pageant , the mast is unstepped and stored along with her sails. The white hulled yacht to the left and slightly behind is a 1960's 22ft Westerly Nomad, almost winterised? but looks like its been through the wars! Her rudder is broken off, 50% of her mast is gone, snapped off at the hounds and the unsupported boom with the backstay gone and with the blue boom cover in tatters has dropped through and wrecked the blue cockpit spray hood.
Parts of her standing rigging with the spreaders and main and jib sheet halliards still attached trail and drape around the back of the boat.
What a sad, sad sight! to see such a lovely little triple keeler in such a sorry mess.
The bigger yacht floating immediately behind and to the left of the beached Nomad with the tan coloured spray dodgers and spray hood is a Macwester 26 appropriately named Macaire I noticed, another yacht I'm familiar with, I owned and sailed one for 8 years, happy days.

Lovely view of Cadair Idris with the sun peeking out behind on Mynydd Moel and Penygadair though.
The old joke about North Wales weather rang true on Friday! If you can't see the mountains it's raining, if you can see them; its just about to rain!
How true, half an hour from taking photographs we left Barmouth, in a torrential downpour.
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Cadair Idris with yachts.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:26 am

After visiting Phil's to take a picture of his G&S Sanke and tasting some of his delicious Majorie's Seedling plums I couldn't resist buying a Majorie' Seedling plum tree for myself.

I've ordered a 2-year bush-trained tree - 12l pot - VVA-1 rootstock from a company I've never heard of before called Orange Pippin Fruit Trees.

https://www.orangepippintrees.co.uk

The website seems very comprehensive with a very large range of fruit trees for sale, there is also lots of advice available on the website.

I'm intending to keep growing the tree in pots and no doubt I'll be after Phil for advice on potting up as the tree grows. I'm also hoping the addition of this tree will help pollinate my Denbigh plum which had a very poor crop this year.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:58 pm

I wholeheartedly agree Colin, where you bought your plum tree from has an excellent site with comprehensive information and reasonable prices .
One relevant point though, Orange Pippin like so many other sites list Marjorie's Seedling as fully fertile, it isn't! it's semi or partly fertile, but the good news is it's a universal donor so it's a very good cross pollinator for your Denbigh plum which though self-sterile is also a universal donor.
Your choice of VVA-1 or the Russian developed Krymsk dwarfing rootstock is a good choice too as it was developed to grow in cold conditions and heavy wet clay soils, just about right for North Wales. It is becoming popular with commercial growers and gardeners alike, rapidly taking over from St Julian A and Pixy as a first choice universal rootstock for stone fruits, particularly plums, greengages, damsons, peaches and nectarines.
If you want to know more about fruit tree rootstocks Colin go to
http://www.gb-online.co.uk
I've ordered some of their dwarfing rootstocks including VVA-1 Krymsk for grafting in spring next year.
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