For those of you wondering what I'm on about, I took the family to RHS Harlow Carr today for their Taste of Autumn event. On what proved to be the coldest day of the autumn so far (aka bloody freezing!), the kids were amused by the monster trail and seemed not to notice the cold, whilst Mrs D and I found a sheltered spot and drank hot soup.
The monster trail just happened to take us via the apple identification greenhouse being carried out by the Northern Fruit Group. After filling in some paperwork to let them know everything I knew about the apple - it didn't take long to fill in! - the first suggestion was Belle de Boskoop. After various consultations with books and a comparison with the ones on display it was agreed that this was what it probably was. Despite the fact it didn't look much like the one they had on display, mine being far redder.
|Northern Fruit Group version|
|My version of Belle de Boskoop|
Still they seemed impressed with my apples and said it would be good to graft some trees from them as mine are very red and appeared to be a good apple, so place your orders now!
After a bit of searching once I got home, apparently they're somewhat sort after and much more common in mainland Europe, having originated in Holland. They also make a very good apple pie - which I will selflessly be making and eating, purely in the interests of research of course - store very well, mellowing around Christmas time to make them edible as an 'eater'. Which is what I was hoping for and well worth looking after those in storage!
The apple display was good, with a wonderful smell and they even had some apples for sale - we declined.
After the kids finished the monster trail we headed for Betty's Tea Shop (the branch at the Gardens), took one look at the queue, bought a couple of cakes to keep the kids happy and headed home, with the heater on to defrost. Sadly there seemed to be far more people in the Tea Shop than the Gardens.