New orchard at Little Moreton


Little Moreton Hall's Gardener, Nicola, talks about her project to create a new orchard on the far side of the moat.

"At this point, we are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to normal. I have personally found it very difficult to be out of the garden at Little Moreton Hall, which is my baby, when we have so many fab plans to make it a very special little garden which sets off the fairy tale hall. Looking at the house from the garden is never boring whatever the weather but, to add to the frustration, this is the best weather we have had for a long time!

So, let's indulge for a short time, take a deep breath and look forward to the plans for the new orchard.

We have already achieved so much this year. The new apple trees (all Cheshire varieties) and quinces have been planted. The fences and gates have been put in. We were just about to start planting up the meadow with spare plants from the main garden.

The garden volunteers and I dug out the planting pits and planted up the first tranche of apple trees at the beginning of March

When things get back to normal, the idea is to scope out the rest of the space and right now I have a lot of time to be thinking about it.

I will be mowing in several paths, so we can look at them and see which turn around the new meadow feels the most natural.

When this exercise has been given the green light and we are all in agreement, the new meadows will be planted up around the paths.

After any necessary tree work has taken place, beehives will be put in a quiet corner of the area.

A small natural play area is to be put at the end of the meadow near the car park, and patterns will be mown into the meadow to act as further natural play for adults and children alike.

View of the hall from other side of the moat

Take a deep breath and close your eyes

Look forward to happier times

Of orchard blossom with bees on the wing

Meadows flowers in bloom

Fruit ripe for harvest Cheshire apples and quince

Moats, Mounts and Medlar in the Cheshire plain

A fairy tale hall standing tall in the middle of it all."

Nicola, Gardener at Little Moreton Hall