One of the great tricks in getting children to eat more fruit and veg is to grow it yourself. Time consuming maybe, but my kids have gone from barely touching fruit to constantly out scavenging in the garden, keen to see what they can get their hands on next! One of my clients, with 3 young boys and a lovely large garden decided that an orchard would be a good way to try and get her kids to at least try more fruit.
The challenges with this garden included the fact that it is a sloping site with heavy clay and therefore rather boggy underfoot. It is also rather exposed to the elements, including animals like rabbits and deer which had destroyed previous attempts at an orchard planted with very young trees. It was also important that the orchard be something lovely to look at as it spanned the width of the garden, albeit a reasonable distance from the house.
The area had been underplanted with bulbs, narcissi and crocus in the autumn. To be able to withstand the wind and the marauding animals we went for large mature trees from a great tree nursery (Barcham Trees) in a mix of eating apples, victoria plum and a few ornamental cram apples and autumn flowering prunus. This meant that there would be colour and interest through much of the year making it a feature of the garden.
The trees were planted on one the wettest and windiest days of the year but with the help of a good local Forest Services company, the trees went in and are looking great. Roll on the spring blossom and the autumn fruit!