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Kitchen Garden: Apples

Pursuits | By Simon Courtauld

What is a 'Hoary morning", or a 'Bloody Ploughman"? Simon Courtauld elaborates.

‘Comfort me with apples,’ demands one of the lovers in the Song of Solomon. It’s that time of year; early-season apples such as ‘Discovery’ and ‘Worcester Pearmain’ were ready for picking in August. Supermarket apples from South Africa and New Zealand are available for most of the year, but it is so much more satisfying to wait for the approaching season of mellow fruitfulness and the taste of an English apple, whether or not grown in one’s own garden. The Royal Horticultural Society recorded more than 1,500 types of apple in the late 19th century, and you might have expected some to have died out since. However, 2,200 varieties are now grown at Brogdale, near Faversham in Kent, which is the home of the National Fruit Collection. Here they can be inspected and the fruit sampled; some of their names – ‘Bloody Ploughman’, ‘Red Devil’, ‘Hoary Morning’ – are irresistible. Advice...

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