Our Orchard is maturing beautifully with over 350 fruit trees (all of which have been sponsored by friends of the Garden). It is a
tranquil, very special area of the garden, tended by our members. We concentrate our planting on unusual varieties - mainly apple, pear and plum but we also have apricot, almond, cherry, gage and peaches. In January 2022, we planted a Ballinora Pippin apple tree. This completed our collection of 68 Native Irish Heritage Apple varieties, which is one of only 4 complete collections in the country.
Heritage variety trees are expensive to source and maintain and in order to give the Orchard a helping hand, we have completed a successful tree sponsorship scheme. Friends of the garden have also kindly sponsored ornamental trees in the front section of the garden (on the main walkway down towards the pond) and fruit trees in the kitchen garden (against the walls).
Each sponsored tree is identified by a discreet aluminium marker which notes the tree variety, the person who it has been sponsored for and a short commemoration message. The cost covers a heritage variety tree, compost, stakes, ties, the ongoing care of the tree and the cost of the markers (which have been sourced from a traditional botanical plant tag supplier).
Trees have been sponsored in memory of individuals who have passed and also to mark Christenings, Birthdays and Christmas. We respectfully remind sponsors that memorabilia, ornaments, bouquets or other items cannot be left at the trees and the aluminium markers cannot be individualised or enlarged in any way. The area is first and foremost a heritage orchard and not a memorial garden. We think this adds to the beauty and charm of the plot, it's an informal, peaceful place where nature comes first.
While all of our trees have now been sponsored (as of January 2022), the committee is currently looking at other forms of sponsorship in the garden. We hope to provide an update by late Spring 2022.