Spring in the orchard

Winter is on its way out and there's plenty of new growth coming out into the sunshine in Isaac Newton's orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor.

At this time of year the orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor is coming back to life after a cold wet winter. The apple trees aren't quite in leaf yet, but the spring flowers are all coming through and we particularly love the delicate purple fritillaries with their chequerboard petals.

But that's not all. There are hyacinths and cowslips, primroses and daffodils; the other fruit trees are all busy putting out new growth and the cherry trees and redcurrants are starting to flower - it's all action in this place which has seen so much history. The volunteer gardeners and the tree surgeon have been busy over winter looking after the trees, whch all look trim after their winter pruning.

Pride of place goes to the 400-year-old Flower of Kent apple tree which we believe inspired Isaac Newton's thinking about gravity in 1665-7, when he came home from Cambridge University and began to wonder why apples - and other things - always fall downwards towards the earth. That's the kind of thinking which eventually sent human beings to the moon and back.

It's been particularly rainy and wet recently - if you've visited in a downpour you'll have seen why the road leading to our gate is called Water Lane - and so it's very mucky underfoot in the orchard. That's why from time to time you might find we've roped off sections of the orchard to give the grass a chance to recover.