I’m trying to tame our wild Yorkshire garden after six months of leaving it to its own devices. The borders may be a tangled mess of the most thuggish perennials but the trees, apples included, have been thriving on neglect.
The Bramley seems to have responded to my hurried, late winter pruning by setting more fruit than ever before.
The Discovery already look temptingly red but they’ve got a few weeks to go before they are ripe and juicy.
The Fortune never crops heavily but the smooth, stripy fruit are already starting to develop the gorgeous aroma that makes the tree well worth its place in the garden.
The Sunset tree is laden with tiny green fruit. They won’t be ripe until the end of September so they’ve time to fill out a bit if it rains.
Aged twenty one, I lived for a year in a caravan in an apple orchard, while working and learning on a fruit farm. The sound of the wind in the trees, the delicate scent of apple blossom, morning light filtered through summer leaves and the rich aroma of rotting windfalls lodged firmly in my memory and have influenced my gardening ever since. These four trees are an orchard in miniature; beauty and utility in something like harmony.