17 March 2018

Putting Down Roots

During the last two weeks, the girls in the 5th form have each planted a fruit tree- plum, pear or apple and labelled it with the date, variety and their name. Most of the mature fruit trees which still survive in the walled garden and orchard near Cottage were planted by Head Gardener, Mr Underwood (Alastair’s father) in the 1940s and early 1950s. The surviving trees are still producing fruit after 60 or 70 years but there are now many gaps along the walls so as part of the school’s 70th Anniversary each 5th form girl has planted a tree that they will nurture for the rest of their time at Hanford, following it through the seasons from shoots and blossom to fruits and falling leaves as well as helping to prune, water and feed the tree-and harvest the fruit!

Not only have they played a part in helping to restore Hanford’s historic gardens but they have put down roots of their own and left their mark on the land, leaving Hanford healthier and greener for the next generation. With any luck they will return at intervals to find their tree growing ever stronger and bearing fruit. Most Hanford girls feel a deep sense of belonging to the school and having their own tree is a symbol of this.

We raised the money to buy the Apple trees f(£270) rom the proceeds of our Apple Juice completing a harmonious cycle of life. We would encourage girls to take their families to see their tree whenever they have the chance and look forward to puddings and juices for many years to come.