Our small orchard is looking absolutely beautiful as our apples and pears come into blossom at the end of April. We have some wonderful old varieties as well as the popular favourites, like Bramleys and Russets.
One of the tastiest apples is the Cornish Gillyflower, a traditional local variety which keeps really well and has a beautiful aromatic taste. Other local favourites are the Devonshire Quarrenden and the Tom Putt, both multi-use apples that have a crisp acidic flavour and can be used for cider-making as well as eating.
You may already know of the obsession that the Victorians had about pineapples and how some of the great gardens had heated pineapple houses and even, stone pineapples as finials on their gateposts. Well, an ingenious apple grower, a Mr. Williams from Pitmaston, near Worcester, managed to produce an apple that has a pineapple taste!! He called it the “ Pitmaston Pineapple.”
We are lucky to have a Pitmaston Pineapple in our orchard and each year it produces a mass of small, sweet, sharp but honeyed fruit, tasting very much like the real pineapple!
It’s a long way to go before we are picking apples again but, even into May, we are still enjoying the last of the 2019 season russet apples from our store, that have lasted right through the winter. Eating an apple from last year in the orchard reminds us of how the seasons soon come around. And in the meantime, let’s enjoy the beauty of our apple blossom while it lasts…