Pruning Apples and Pears by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

The Quick Guide to Winter Pruning

If in doubt…Don’t! Well, you have to agree, that was quick. But I think we can do better than that. Apples and pears will quite often fruit reasonably well if you just leave them alone but they will get to a stage where overcrowding of branches and disease will cut down the on the reason we grow them; the fruit.

Why do we prune? We need to prune to encourage fruiting ‘spurs’, clear out any dead or diseased wood and generally shape the tree to an attractive form. We’ve all seen children’s drawings of trees, generally a cup on a leg, and for ordinary bush forms, which is what we shall deal with here, that’s not far off the ideal.

Stand back and take a good look at your tree. Is it the shape you want? Does it interfere with paths, buildings etc? Don’t be afraid to tackle it, you’re the boss!

Taking out branches which cross over the middle of the cup is a good idea as it keeps the air moving through the tree when it’s in full leaf and helps to prevent fungus diseases. If your tree has several branches in this position remove only one or two each winter as a severe removal of a large mass of branches will result in the tree producing a lot of compensating growth the next year and very little fruit. The same goes for branches which need to come out to improve the shape. Remove any branches which are diseased or have died back to where you are sure the growth looks clean.

RULE 1. Stagger removal of large branches over several winters.

RULE 2. Cut cleanly, using a pruning saw or good loppers, leaving a very small ‘stub’, which should heal over by itself.

Now come in close and look at one major branch at a time to assess it’s fruiting ability. Most varieties produce fruiting spurs which are clusters of small, knobbly twigs with fat flower buds on.(Growth buds tend to be thinner and pointed) What you are aiming for is a framework of  branches with a good coverage of spurs.

Example: Apple tree pruning – avoid taking too much off!

What you may have are branches covered with lots of whippy growth about 6 to 12 inches long (showing my age there I’m afraid!), these will need to be shortened to two buds long, in other words  where two leaves were in the summer. If  it is very crowded you may need to remove some altogether, spacing them out along the branches about 5 to 6 inches apart is good. These will then start to produce flower buds over the next summer.

RULE 3. Shorten small whippy growth to encourage fruiting spurs.

This is a much simplified guide to winter pruning but it gives you the basics to tackle your fruit trees, if you decide to pursue this topic further there are many good books available or call in an expert, we’ve been keeping trees performing well for years!

Word of Caution – If someone comes to prune your fruit trees with a chainsaw, show them the gate… If that’s what they need then they’re taking off too much!

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Isle of Wight Garden Life 5 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

Spring Bulbs 

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

Snowdrops

Tulips and Bluebells

Daffodils

Woodland and Bluebells

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 4 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 Autumn Tints

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

Bright berries of Arum italicum

Dogwood leaves

Helenium & bee

Cyclamen

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 3 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 Water Gardens 1

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

 

Yellow Flag Iris

A small wildlife pond

Dragonfly

A formal fountain

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 2 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 Summer Flowers 1

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

 

Fragrant French Lavender

Colourful raised beds

A June border

Early Summer

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 1 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 Garden Creatures 1

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2.

Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Peahen

A bee enjoys some apple blossom

Snowy Pheasants

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Chicken & bird bath

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 1 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 Garden Creatures 1

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2.

Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Peahen

A bee enjoys some apple blossom

Snowy Pheasants

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Chicken & bird bath

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

The Garden in Summer by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“In general such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes, that this island has often been styled the Garden of England” – The History of the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard Worsley. 1781

This is one of a series of articles and anecdotes largely based around our work on the Isle of Wight and occasionally further afield

Tim Brayford Landscapes- Early summer flowers

“That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
And the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Summer is the time that all the hard work and planning of earlier seasons comes to fruition.

The long days and balmy evenings will see the traditional English country and cottage gardens at their best, with earlier flowerings of Poppies, Delphiniums, Peonies and Aquilegias to be followed by Hostas, Japanese Anemonies, Rudbeckias and Heleniums to name but a few.

Cutting down the stems of early plants such as Lupins may lead to a second blooming in late summer and dead heading repeat flowering roses such as the fragrant “Claire Austin” is beneficial.
The fresher air in the evening is perhaps the best time to enjoy sweetly scented Honeysuckles and Nicotianas

Tim Brayford Landscapes – mid summer herbaceous border

Bright and colourful summer bedding like Geraniums and Busy Lizzies can highlight decorative tubs whilst Petunias and Nemesias may be found in hanging baskets. Keeping a few Begonias to hand in pots can be a useful way of plugging any gaps that may appear in herbaceous borders until a more permanent solution can be found in the autumn.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Bees feast on these late summer flowering Heleniums

Watering may become necessary during a prolonged dry spell, a thick organic mulch will help to retain moisture and if seed free deter weeds from germinating. If the lawn starts to turn brown raise the cutting height of your mower and cut less frequently.

Watering is best done at night when evaporation is less and there is little risk of scorching or better still install some sub-surface irrigation.

Do not be afraid of pruning back plants that are starting to obstruct paths or gateways and do make a note of any possible changes or improvements for future reference.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Spring Bulbs by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Spring Bulbs

Spring Bulbs

I love daffodils. There, I’ve come out and said it. I like the good old common or garden yellow ones. Not very fashionable I know, but I love the big yellow heads nodding in the spring sunshine. They always look good under trees and in clumps in borders but I wouldn’t attempt them in pots, they tend to flop about too much. I like the smaller, lighter ones here, not the real miniatures they are better in with alpines or the front of a border. One of my favourites is ‘Jetfire’, these are gorgeous in tubs. I plant half a dozen in a 9 inch terracotta pot and the proportions look just right when they flower. The pots are placed up the edge of the front door steps and cheer us up for weeks.

Tim Brayford Landscapes-Cheerful daffodils

A couple of years ago I tried something different in my wall baskets under the living room windows. I usually leave these empty in winter as winter pansies and primroses don’t seem to like the extra exposure that the height brings and I planted ‘Jetfire’. They were brilliant. Their bright heads popped up far enough to dance along the bottom of the window, allowing us to enjoy them even in rough weather.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Spring Bulbs & Sundial

Still, daffs aren’t the only bulbs and I have a penchant for big, bold tulips as well. Deep red, bright pink but not yellow, the daffs supply that! I love big bellied pots with big bellied tulips, they just seem to go together. Have you ever gazed into a wide open tulip? Fabulous.

Bluebells are beautiful, particularly if you can manage a woodland setting for them, but if not try to find them a sheltered spot under deciduous shrubs as they will not appreciate too much heat.

Snowdrops are amongst the earliest to flower

Snowdrops are another little beauty and they need to be where you can appreciate their early flowering. Don’t hide them away in a part of the garden that you never visit in winter or there’s no point in growing them!

Well, these are just a few of my favourites and if you look through the catalogues the choices are endless, try some. Experiment with something different. I can guarantee you will pace around the garden peering into pots and borders waiting for the first shoots.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Bluebells

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 80 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The Isle of Wight has long been recognised as benefitting  from both a mild coastal climate and fertile soils favourable to the gardener

“Almost every plant species that are to be found in any other part of England are met with here, a circumstance that must be extremely agreeable to the philosophic mind and grateful to the botanist and man of science. They abound in quantity as well as variety.” John Albin – 1795 Newport

Our Isle of Wight Garden Galleries show a selection of gardens large and small together with the plants and features found within them 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Peahen

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Spring Flowers

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Broad Beans

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Summer Bedding

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare.

We recommend an initial verbal consultation and report preparatory to forwarding costings for your project, both for the building of entirely new gardens or for the addition of individual features to a well established one. Typically this may take the form of tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows, lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools,installation of irrigation systems, ground shaping & cultivation. We also undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918