In September 2003 Jim Arbury of the R.H.S. identified most of the apple and pear trees in the orchard. We have some fine-tasting old varieties. The orchard walls are planted with plums, greengages, a fig and climbing roses from the Jekyll garden. I have taken some fruit descriptions from two excellent books:- Rosanne Saunders' 'The English Apple' and Jim Arbury's 'Pears'.
This orchard has many older varieties of fruit. Very little goes to waste depending on the harvest. Besides eating the apples and sharing the rest between the horses and chickens. We also make Cider.
We let the grass grow thoughout the spring and summer to encourage other flowering plants which in turn bring in the bees and other insects. We find no serious problems with pests and disease, perhaps because we do nothing to deter birds. We have a similar policy in the Wild Garden, to develop an ecosystem with which we can all live. Another good reason for letting the grass grow is the trapping of moisture. We find that having a larger grass height gives more shade and a cooling effect in the orchard. Yes you do loose more moisture through tranpiration but on balance this is lesser efffect than the hot sun, scorching shorter grass and an exposed soil surface. Shorter grass leads to a higher loss of water due to the wind effect on a more open surface. So keep it long and shady, it also looks nice.
Mr Robert Adams first bought this old English dessert apple to notice in 1826 under the name of Norfolk Pippin. Robert Hogg states in The Fruit Manual that it was exhibited in Herefordshire as Hanging Pearmain, and that it originated in that county. It is available from a few specialist nurseries.
This mid to late dessert apple was raised in Lincolnshire, England by Thomas Laxton some time before 1884. It was exhibited originally as Browns South Lincoln Beauty in 1889 by W and J Brown of Stamford and in 1894 received a First Class Certificate from the RHS under that name. In 1894 the name was changed to Allington Pippin and it received the Award of Merit. It was introduced by G Bunyard and Co. in 1896. Earlier in the twentieth century it was widely grown in Kent, Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely and is still widely listed. It is often confused with Laxtons Superb.
This is an old American mid season dessert apple. It originated at Bolton, Worcester County, Massachusetts and was first recorded in 1844. The Herefordshire Pomana records that it was Mr Rivers of Sawbridgeworth who introduced it to England in the early 1800s. It is noted for its good flavour, being sweet and aromatic but it needs full sun
This fairly old English culinary apple was raised by Samuel Greatorex at Knighton in Leicester about 1857. It received a First Class Certificate in 1866 and was introduced at around that time by Messrs. Harrison and Son of Leicester. It is named after the two daughters of Mr Thomas Harrison, proprietor of the nursery. It used to be grown commercially and it is still quite widely listed by nurserymen.
The Blenheim Orange is one of the loveliest apples of all with its dry distinctive flavour. It was found at Woodstock near Blenheim in Oxfordshire in about 1740. It is recorded that a countryman named Kempster planted the original kernel and the apple, known locally as Kempsters Pippin began to be catalogued in about 1818. It received the Banksian Silver Medal in 1820 and thereafter spread through England to Europe and America
This handsome dual purpose apple was raised from Peesgood Nonsuch X Coxs Orange Pippin by Charles Ross, gardener to Captain Carstairs at Welford Park in Berkshire from 1860-1908. This apple was originally named Thomas Andrew Knight who was president of the RHS. First exhibited in 1890, it received an Award of Merit in 1899. In that year at Captain Carstairs request, the name was changed and the apple received a First Class Certificate as Charles Ross
COXS ORANGE PIPPIN
Coxs Orange Pippin is regarded as the finest of all English apples and is the most extensively planted dessert variety in the U.K. It was raised from pips of a Ribston Pippin in about 1825 at Colnbrook Lawn, near Slough, Bucks where the original tree grew until destroyed by a storm in 1911. The man who raised this historic fruit was Richard Cox (1777-1845) a retired brewer from Bermondsey. It was introduced by Charles Turner in about 1850 and received the Award of Merit and a First Class Certificate from the RHS in 1962
The origin of this apple appears to have been lost. It is thought to have probably originated in England and was first recorded here in 1872. It has been catalogued by most nurseries since the early part of the last century and is now the most important commercial russet in the UK, as demand for a russet apple has encouraged recent planting. It received the Award of Merit from the RHS in 1980
This is the most widely planted apple in the main fruit growing areas of the world. It is not always a great success however, as it requires a reasonably high temperature and a greater light intensity than is usually found in England. It was produced as a chance seedling found by A H Mullins of Clay Country, West Virginia in 1890. The parentage is not certain but it is thought possible to have been from Grimes Golden, open pollinated. It was introduced by Stark Brothers in 1914
A very popular second early dessert apple, raised in Scotland by Mr James Grieve of Edinburgh. It was open-pollinated from Potts Seedling or from Coxs Orange Pippin. It was introduced by Dicksons Nurserymen, employees of Mr Grieve and first recorded in 1893. It received the Award of Merit from the RHS in 1897 and a First Class Certificate in 1906. Several coloured sorts exist. James Grieve is not extensively planted because the fruits bruise easily and may drop prematurely in warm districts. It prefers the North, disliking the humid West where it is prone to canker; otherwise it is hardy and adaptable.
This late dessert apple was raised in England in 1897 by Laxton Bros. Ltd. of Bedford from Wyken Pippin X Coxs Orange Pippin. It received an Award of Merit in 1919 and a First Class Certificate in 1921. It was introduced in 1922 and is grown commercially today. The trees can become biennial.
This well known mid to late culinary apple was raised in England by Mr Witham, a nurseryman of Stockport in Cheshire. It was first recorded in 1862. It is grown on a medium scale commercially in the UK
This fairly well-known mid season dessert apple is of English origin, having been raised by Messrs. Laxton Bros. of Bedford in 1907 from James Grieve X Worcester Pearmain. It was introduced by Laxtons in 1923. The RHS awarded it the Bunyard Cup in 1921and an Award of Merit in 1925. It is grown on a small scale commercially in the U.K.
This is a fairly old mid-season to late cooking apple. It is of English origin and was raised in Billericay, Essex, by a farmer named W Bull. The apple was raised in 1858, apparently from the pips of an apple purchased in the market, and it first fruited in about 1874. The apple was introduced to commerce in 1880 as The Claimant by Messrs Saltmarsh of Chelmsford and was awarded a First Class Certificate in that year
A high quality mid to late season dessert apple which was raised in England in about 1918. It was raised by Mr G C Addy at Ightham in Kent from a pip of Coxs Orange Pippin and introduced jointly by Mr Addy and Mr William Rogers of Dartford in Kent. It was named in 1933. In 1960 it received the Award of Merit from the RHS and a First Class Certificate in 1982. It is a good garden variety, being too small for commercial use.
Surrey 1800, dessert, self-sterile, Pollination Group C
LANES PRINCE ALBERT
Introduced in 1857, culinary, Pollination Group C
KING OF THE PIPPINS
Introduced in France in 1770, culinary/dessert, Pollination group D, partially self-fertileTop of Page