About Orchard Notes

Hello and welcome to Orchard Notes (formerly Notes From the Orchard). I’m Darren Turpin, a keen orchardist, amateur pomologist, professional gardener, allotmenteer and GYO enthusiast.

If you’re new here, welcome! And please do have a look at this ‘about the content on orchardnotes.com page, which explains the sort of articles I like to post on the blog.

About Me

In 2016 I qualified for the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture. I’m now part qualified at Level 3 – Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation – via the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh‘s distance learning programme.

In April 2017 I took a part-time job as Assistant Gardener at Ordsall Hall and Gardens, working under Head Gardener Lindsay Berry, until her move to be Head Gardener at Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, in May 2018. I then stepped up to acting Head Gardener, looking after the gardens with our team of dedicated and hard-working volunteers for a few months, before our new Head Gardener, Jo Green, joined us in December 2018.

At Ordsall Hall and Gardens I work across the site on whatever needs to be done although the area I most enjoy working on is, of course, the 18-tree heritage orchard. I’m also a weekly volunteer at the RHS Garden Bridgewater, where I’m helping the outer walled garden team to get their section of the site – which includes a heritage orchard of North West UK apple, pear and plum trees – ready for opening in the spring of 2021.

I’ve also helped out at Holly Mount Community Orchard, running pruning training sessions for their regular volunteers, and at a couple of other community orchards.

Helping out at a pruning session at Holly Mount community orchard, January 2021

My wife, Jo, and I have been growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers on Plot #59 of Langley Allotments in Prestwich, North Manchester since 2014. We grow stepover and cordon apples on our main plot, and in 2017 we took on a second plot, Plot #79, which along with two other plot holders, we’ve turned into a 20-tree orchard that includes culinary and dessert apples, pears and plums, plus a quince, medlar and damson.

If you have any comments, questions or queries, please do feel free to leave a reply on any relevant blog post (please note, the first comment be any user is moderated to help cut down on spam) or you can drop me a line or Tweet @nftorchard and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

And if you’re based in the North Manchester area and are looking for someone to help with or offer practical advice on planting, pruning and caring for fruit trees – or more specialist activities like grafting – please do drop me a line. I’m always interested in hearing about any orchard-related projects or work opportunities.


Notes From the Orchard by Darren Turpin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.