Saturday, April 9, 2011

orchard layout

It's 5:30 in the afternoon and the sun is shining through a hazy sky. It's 64 degrees and breezy. My "baby" sister Terri is on her way to spend a short weekend and to attend an herb workshop with Anne and me tomorrow. We've finished getting our farmhouse as orderly as we can for now. With a little time til Terri gets here and nice weather still holding, Anne and I went out to finally mark where our fruit trees will stand in the new orchard.
I like plans to be complete and easy. It took me a few days this week to design and execute a method for measuring the orchard for tree placement but what I came up with really worked. A photo of it is below. Anne suggested I should translate my map into a fiber project of some sort. Maybe a quilted wall hanging?

I used graph paper, with each square representing a square foot. The map plots locations for 17 of the 20 dwarf, semi-dwarf, and standard trees we have coming later this month. The circles represent their recommended space needs, the trunk of the tree at the center of each circle. The top of the map is north. The standard trees, which will grow the tallest, will be planted on the north side, so as not to shade the smaller trees. They will also eventually provide some protection for the trees to their south when winter winds blow.
The red lines on the map create a grid which we physically recreated on the orchard site with stakes and string. Many of the trees will stand at intersecting lines on the grid. The locations of the trees not actually on the grid were easy to measure with the strings providing reference points. The entire job took us under an hour.
Earlier this afternoon we took our first back porch tea break of the year. Pretty spot, no? I think we'll be using this spot a lot this season... how many trees are arriving later this month???


  1. Sharon you are a born organiser! I think the layout for your trees looks like such an original pattern. I like how all the smaller trees are grouped together. Have fun at the herb workshop. Please come back and tell us all how it went won't you?! Have a lovely time sipping drinks on your porch too!!!

  2. I think Anne's idea of translating your plan into a fabric piece is brilliant!
    Hope you enjoyed your visit with your sister and the herb workshop. It will be so interesting to see the actual trees in your orchard.