..was ripen, in late August/early September. We’ve let our small apple trees become a little overshaded by the neighbouring grapevines and they just haven’t done so well this year. Coupled with the attentions of a picky fieldmouse who fastidiously nibbles a bit out of each apple before moving on, this is making for a less varied harvest than usual. However, Katy is delicious, and her “sisters”, Falstaff, Fiesta, Egremont Russet and Sunset should be welcomed in their turn.
Elsewhere apples are doing better. We’ve been blessed by our first ever crab apples this year – the trees are the best part of 10 years old and have never fruited yet! There are only a couple of fruits and they will probably just be absorbed in to a preserve, but it’s still nice to see them doing what we put them there for, at last.
Another tree self-seeded by our pond, produced a single fruit which failed to ripen last year, but this year has around 20 large green apples, of which one, at the top and getting the most sun, is starting to blush. We’re not sure exactly how old the tree is – no more than about eight anyway – but it’s interesting that it has fruited on its own roots relatively early in its life. This might be because it’s a vigorous tree, but living in only a few inches of soil above pure solid chalk.
Finally, our renovated apple tree – which may have been here since the house was built in the 30s for all we know, although it seems unlikely – is producing well this year, with beautiful almost luminous pink fruit all over. It’s a strange old tree – the fruit never grow quite ripe enough to really enjoy raw, and it doesn’t collapse, but it does make excellent crumbles and pies with little or no sugar and is prolific enough to satisfy our jelly and chutney needs. Last year I took the fruits to Apple Day at RHS Rosemoor – after much consultation among at least four of the experts, furious leafing of books, comparing with labelled fruits and tasting…it was concluded that it was a seedling. I still think it must be a known variety because of where it’s planted, and I don’t expect it to be very special, but I like the tree as well as the fruit, and as a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, I think we can tolerate an apple without any name at all…
All the same, anyone who would like to have a pop at identification would be very welcome!