Gardeners get a chilly lesson in apple care

Written by Peter Davison on .

Apple guru Neil MacDonaldApple guru Neil MacDonaldWith the ground underfoot as crunchy as an apple, there was a cold lesson for gardeners at Marlborough's Apple Workshop on Saturday.

Led by Neil Macdonald – the man behind the popular Orchard Pig cider – and John Gillam, a local horticulturist and stone fruit expert, the workshop started in the warm at St John's Academy.

Attendees learnt about choosing apple varieties and rootstocks for small gardens, planting fruit trees, after-care and pruning, including how to train espalier, fan and cordon trees. 

Horticulturist John GillamHorticulturist John GillamAfter lunch, the class moved outside to winter-prune young apple trees, recently planted at the school, and then moved into town, to prune and train Waitrose’s espaliers.

The next venue was Culvermead Close, where some mature trees in need of rejuvenation were tackled, followed by a planting demonstration at Wye House.

The well-attended event was organised by Marlborough Community Orchard.