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Howgate Wonder

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary Sunday, 27th July 2008

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TIME FOR A CHANGE from my habitual pen and watercolour; I drew these Howgate Wonder cooking apples (just about passable as eaters in a good year) growing on the double cordon by the patio with an H (for hard) pencil before adding watercolour. This and the Golden Spire cordon alongside it, growing in a sunny bed the size of a couple of door-mats by next door’s wall, are now in their second year. They produced lots of blossom which attracted the bumble bees and consequently they’re now so heavy with developing fruit that we’ve had to give them some extra support by tying them in to garden canes.


You win some you lose some: we’ve had our eyes on a dozen ripening blueberries on two plants in pots on the patio. Despite us having netted them to discourage the birds, a young blackbird ate every one of them this afternoon!


It enjoyed its feast so much that it wouldn’t move away even when Barbara stood right next to it! We’ve shrouded the plants in garden fleece so hopefully out of sight will be out of mind for this cheeky young blackbird, but somehow I doubt it. There are still plenty of ripening berries on the plants.