Growing mini trees for your orangery24/09/2015
Orangeries were so named because their brick and glass structure provides the warmth and shelter necessary to grow citrus trees that would not naturally bear fruit this far North. When the wealthy aristocrats of the 19th Century went on ‘Grand Tours’ around Europe, they came across the orange groves of Seville and witnessed the annual lemon harvest in Sorrento. They returned with saplings and constructed orangeries in which to cultivate them.
Despite the name, oranges are not the only fruit that can be grown in an orangery. There are cultivars of most fruit varieties that have been bred to grow in pots and still produce a bumper crop. These varieties all produce full-size fruit but can be kept pruned to a manageable size with a pair of secateurs:
- Apple (Golden Delicious or Gala)
- Pear (Conference, Concorde or Doyenné du Comice)
- Cherries (Sylvia, Sunburst and Stella)
- Plum (Black amber)
To give your trees the best possible conditions, plant them in a good non-peat based compost in pots at least 45cm wide and regularly give them a good water. The warm sunny conditions of your orangery should do the rest.
It is worth providing a neighbour or friend with a key so that they can do the watering if you are away, as just one week of drought can have a seriously detrimental effect on the health of your fruit trees. There are also automatic watering systems available to purchase online, which are easy to assemble and set on a timer.
If you feel inspired to create an orchard of mini fruit trees, an orangery will provide the perfect growing conditions for it. Why not drop into one of our showrooms in Wymondham or Diss for a chat about creating yours. Alternatively, you can always telephone us on 01953 600505.