I visited Standen at the beginning of April 2013 and took these photographs then. March, as I recall, had been a frozen tundra of a month with temperatures barely reaching about freezing day or night. The first daffodils were only just coming through, so different to the early Spring enjoyed last year.
I am minded to reprise this visit as the kitchen garden not least was home to a group of serious Espalier fruit trees – Grand Dames dating back to when the gardens were first laid out at in the last years of the 19th Century – making them about 120 years old…. The lower tiers have gone the way of all things, but the top tiers are massive, encrusted things and still fruitful. Something to bear in mind when planting your own espaliers, they are likely to outlive us all!
I’m presenting a workshop at Petersham Nurseries next Tuesday – an introduction to pruning, winter pruning of fruit trees – and apart from recommending a trip to see the comprehensive displays at RHS Wisley and while I think of it, the Fruit Collection and orchards at Waterperry in Oxfordshire, will also suggest a day out to this Arts and Crafts Gem to pay homage to these ancient and stately trees.