Country diary: copious apple blossom is at its best, but short-lived

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St Dominic, Tamar Valley: The full bloom sadly coincides with April’s withering cold and dearth of pollinators

May rain veils the greening mound of Sentry Hill wood and the cattle grazing on the summit of Viverdon Down, as loquacious birdsong and progress to summer growth are restored.

This year’s copious apple blossom is at its best, but short-lived – after a few days of pink and white perfection, the Tommy Knight’s petals blow off laden twiggy branches, succeeded by profuse and even larger blooms on banana pippin, manaccan primrose/the rattler (with its bonus of established mistletoe) and Hocking’s green, once a popular apple grown in local farm orchards. The pink buds on the long keeper coexist with last year’s dangling rotten apples, and fruit sets sparsely on the earlier flowering pears and cherries, whose peak of blossom coincided with April’s withering cold and dearth of pollinators.

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