If you are of a certain age you will remember the advert.
The OH and I have been planting in the new orchard again. The recent days of glorious sunny weather and no rain has dried the field so we rushed out to put in the last of the bare root.
Alongside the grid of top fruit we have a ‘nut walk’. I saw one at Sissinghurst and promptly decided that we also needed an avenue of hazels. Picture the lovely carpet of spring flowers before the canopy closes overhead forming a tunnel of dappled green. Okay, what we actually have is some twiggy things amongst the clumpy grass, however once we start coppicing, (or pollarding depending on whether you speak to me or the OH), it will all come together.
The varieties we have are: Webb’s Prize Cob; the Kentish Cob; Halls Giant; Ennis, Cosford and Gunslebert. The nuts are self- sterile so the planted mix will ensure good pollination. The catkins are the male flowers – the female bit is a tiny red tuft, pollinated by wind.
The cultivated varieties come from either Corylus avellana, the common hazel or cobnut, which is a native or Corylus maxima, the filbert, which originated in SE Europe through to western Asia.
Fresh green hazelnuts are a real treat. Though it will be a race between me and the fat squirrel….