I just ordered two cherry trees, a plum and a greengage for delivery in early Feb. We shouldn’t really be spending money on that stuff, but I am so keen to get them in and have a crop as soon as possible. I know you’re supposed to take all the fruit off a cherry the first year to let it reinvest the energy in growth, but I’m not sure I’ll be able.
I got a Montmorency cherry, which is an American variety (or at least popular in America) and has the best flavour of any cooking cherry I’ve ever tasted. I hope it will get enough cold hours to produce anything on our plot; it will probably depend on the year. I also got an Albalu, originating from Iran, but I know almost nothing about it, besides that it’s a cooking cherry, which is what I’m after. And they fruit at different times so I don’t have to face too much of a glut at once. Possibly wishful thinking.
Elmo was reticent to buy them because the site is such a mess and they might potentially be in the way of his wheelbarrow path, but, as if by miracle, when I showed him all the plum and greengage varieties, he suddenly felt we should go ahead and get them. So I’ve bought a Greengage (old) – that’s really the name of the variety – and plum called Czar, which is a suitable pollenation partner and a really pretty, deep purple plum suitable for cooking or eating, depending on how long you leave them on the tree.
We spent the weekend up there, not doing anything particular on the building, but getting through a bunch of other odd jobs, including clearing the site for the electricity box to go on Wednesday (and very soon thereafter, hopefully, to become a set of useable outlets.)
The stones we took up from the floor have become a rather better walking surface in front of the cabin than the mud we have been trudging through all winter.
At the other end of the building, which was the driest of the sheds (though by no means dry, as the roof leaked quite badly) we took all the ivy off the roof and used one of the mangled old tarps to cover it. I had to cut some bits to fit round the chimney and add some eyelets around the new edges, but it seems to have worked pretty well at first glance. I guess the time to judge it will be after a rainstorm. We have plenty of those.
We tightened it all down and tied it at every eyelet to nails driven into the mortar between the bricks, so hopefully it will not be subject to too much wind disturbance.
The other thing we got done was the sawing up of a big branch that had been blown down in the recent winds. It should go some way toward satisfying our heating needs next winter. We’ve put it in long-ish pieces in the least dry shed (there is a roof, technically, but it could fall in at any moment) on the strength of the argument that it’s better in there than it is being rained on while sitting in mud. But a better solution will need to be found. Hopefully with a month’s drying it will be a bit easier to saw; it was binding really quickly, being really green. And once it’s sawn, Elmo will no doubt have a lovely time splitting it with the axe he got for Christmas.