Group view 3

This was such a special and memorable day.  40 -50 people of all ages gathered to plant the first 10 trees in our new Community Orchard.  Even the weather was on our side – hard to believe it was the first of November. The date was  80 years (less one day) from the planting of the Cherry Tree Trefoil in the Park on the occasion of the Jubilee of George V.  Only the lengthening shadows hinted at the month.

Guides Karen and Hugh

We were privileged to have with us two of the guides from 80 years ago.  Both Isabel Rankine and Ann Morham remember the day well.  To keep the tradition of Guides’ service to the Community alive, they once more wielded their spades.  Several more of the original members of the planting party of guides, brownies and rangers from all over Edinburgh sent us messages of good luck for the day.

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On the subject of service, David Wright of Wright’s of Comiston was very much in our thoughts during the afternoon and we were so pleased that David’s widow, Louise, and daughter, Jennifer, were also able to be with us.  In her tribute to David at the outset of the day,  Chair of the Friends, Karen Young, expressed many of our thoughts when she said that service to his community was something that David epitomised.  With his shirt, tie and greengrocers coat, he always had time for everyone; remembered everyone’s names and faces; and would go out of his way to help meet our needs.  By naming the orchard after him, we hope to continue his aim of delivering delicious fruit to the community.  In the photograph Louise is joining in by replacing the soil on the plum tree planted by the Constable family.

Birnam Wood

After the words of appreciation came the planting; first the trees advanced on us from their soaking in the burn. and we all set to dig holes in the resistant soil.  It was great to see everyone working hard in the warm sunshine   There were so many helpers who came out that it was hard to find jobs for everyone.

The children joined in with the planting and writing copper labels to tie on the trees.  The apple varieties we planted are Howgate Wonder, White Melrose. (both cookers) and  Ellison’s Orange, Fortune, Limelight, Lord Roseberry, Lord Langbourne and St Edmunds Russet.  The 2 plum varieties are Opal and Rivers Early Prolific.

Most of the children were almost too busy to take up the apple based games that were on offer.  As the sun moved across the sky and the temperature lowered, we were all grateful for the warm refreshments and apple pies.  Toffee apples rounded things off for the children.

Three generations

It was great to see the generations working together. It is quite a thought that perhaps some of the children will come along in another 80 years to remember ‘their’ tree.

Thanks to all who came along on the day and also sent their good wishes

And what would David Wright have thought of it all?   Louise said:  He would have been amazed and not have believed any of it. 

Do come back and see how the trees are doing, and, when they produce fruit, please pick the fruit and think of David Wright of Comiston.