A new poem. And new photographs from a stroll yesterday that took us through Knight’s Cider orchards, the trees heavy with ripe fruit.

Here are spring blossom pictures from last year for comparison.


He will manage his inherited land,
old apple tree garden he cage-mesh fence-
protects against muntjac, vagrants and scrumping
hikers on their nettled ways.

He will own perfection to impress: lush, fertile,
red-ripe fruit for yummy mummy juicy tart
delights or summer evening cider-swilling
blokes from suburban barbeque brigades.

Unsettled, generations of badgers seek
new paths. Hedgehogs sense slugs
on rotting fallen fruit but can’t attend
while unintended wildlife revels in his regime.

Soon, brambles face him, eye-reaching,
snagging; no pollinating bees but biting
flies swarm from un-grazed soggy tussocks.
Now he has to mow, to brush-cut

understory and then sees he’s sliced his youngest
trees. Sap bleeds and, in the cuttings,
a gold-bronze hatchling slow worm writhes,
a broken signet ring. He thinks it’s a baby snake,

asks on Twitter, “ugh! adders in orchard
what 2 do?” Napalm is suggested – lolz –
but he’s already thought it through:
clearance will suffice. He’ll build
his kids a mettled playground.


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4 Responses to Eden

  1. John Ravenscroft says:

    Very good indeedy!

    I especially like ‘yummy mummy juicy tart…’

    I’m glad to say our garden doesn’t match this guy’s.

  2. Great poem. Probably safer to have a kids playground but shame about the trees and wildlife he will destroy in the process. I’d leave them to grow wild and string a rope between apple trees for the kids to play on.
    Great pictures as well, looks like a lovely walk.

    • Myfanwy Fox says:

      Our garden has a bit that we decided would be “orchard” but, frankly, it’s wilderness with a couple of swamped baby fruit trees and all the better for that. We also planted a couple of tiny (grubbed from family garden) oak self-seedlings plus loads of stuff just self-seeds from the hillside above – rowan, holly, birch, sweet chestnut, even a copper beech! All small at the moment so a matter of refereeing what encourage (oaks, rowan, birch) or remove (cherry laurel!)

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