The orchard site

Continuing to describe Rumwoldstow as we first took possession, in 2016 (or 916 AD if you are following the history of Rumwoldstow), let me show you some pictures of what is now the young orchard. This is a squareish bit of land to the north of the walled garden which had been planted with a mix of native trees but had been gradually overshadowed by a very tall leilandii hedge to the south, willow to the west and a mixed hedge to the right. The north side had been devastated by the council as part of a plan to build a flood defence along that line, which never actually happened (lots of local politics there!). So we were left with this dark site, partly occupied by a very large willow and a huge sycamore, all the remaining trees leaning desperately northwards trying to get to the light, and then a barren area covered in piles of woodchip. Plus a mound of burned wreckage where the previous owner had burned a lot of inappropriate possessions in what seemed to be a fit of pique – including mattresses, electrical items, entire filing cabinets, cupboards full of clothes…

So here are a bunch of photos to give an idea of how it looked then! First, not quite a 360 degree panorama but this view from the north west shows the mix of blasted heath and deep shadow that we started with. The brook separates the orchard site from Lake Meadow which runs down to the Cherwell (if you ignore the railway line).

Looking south to the north wall of the garden
Rubbly jubbly!
looking west during the February 2017 flooding, you can see the pile of burned goods and the water creeping into the area. And how dark it is!