For every Wednesday and Saturday morning there is a plant auction in a little group of buildings tucked away in a quiet corner of Wisbech. I had heard talk of it, but it has taken me four years to get round to visiting... and boy do I regret the wasted years!
|The travelling auction begins|
If I'd discovered the auctions a couple of years ago, there would be a lot more shrubs, flowers, fruits and trees in my garden, veg plot, soft fruit patch and orchard. Anyway, my last two visits to the auction have seen me making up for lost time.
I've been quite restrained actually. The focus has been on topping up the orchard, though I have let myself be tempted by a few ornamentals too.
|Bare root fruit trees galore.|
|Click here to read my post on Concorde Pears|
I was especially delighted to find Pear Concorde at £3 per tree (+ 12% commission). This is the pear which did so well last year and I was prepared to pay a lot more to add to my stock.
I've also added to my range of apples. I now have Egremont Russet, Kidd's Orange Red, Laxton Superb, Scrumptious, more Discovery, Blenheim Orange and Ashmead's Kernel.
There are more plum trees, crab apples and cherries too, but I've saved the very best find till last. For my favourite tree in the orchard is my medlar. Even as a young tree it has taken on the appearance of a gnarled, old specimen. It puts on a stunning display of blossom in the spring and produces an intriguing and luxurious crop late in the autumn. The delightful pink tone of medlar jelly provides the final pleasant surprise.
So when, hidden amongst the serried ranks of trees, I discovered the label "Nottingham Medlar" I was very excited. But when I heard the price - £2!!! - yes, that's right, I said TWO POUNDS - I bought five immediately. I think my first medlar tree cost me over £20.
|Click here to read my post on medlars, including a recipe for medlar jelly.|
All this happened last Saturday, so I have been a busy bee during the week and all my fruit trees are now planted and labelled in the orchard. I've still got some raspberry canes,rhubarb plants and gunneras to go in, but I managed to get the orange contorted willows planted as well as the grasses, the aconites, the snowdrops and the conifers. I told you I showed restraint!
I plan to visit the auction once a month from now. That way, I'll end up with a selection of plants with interest throughout the year. Priority for my next visit are laurel plants and blueberries, though quite what I'll come back with is anyone's guess.
|As you can see, I showed considerable restraint and didn't buy too much.|
Wait till I tell you about my other new favourite place!