‘Ash­mead’s Ker­nel’ (1700)

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Notebook -

“A late ap­ple that can’t be beaten for flavour.” A Glouces­ter­shire cider and eat­ing it around 1790. Many ap­ples fruit well on this warm site, al­though War­wick­shire is not a fa­mous fruit-grow­ing area. The ap­ples are picked and sold in the shop and the plant­ing strat­egy is to grow ap­ples that ma­ture at dif­fer­ent times. Early ap­ples in­clude ‘Beauty of Bath’ (1864) an ap­ple grown by lots of vis­i­tors’ grand­par­ents.

Fruit trees apart, vis­it­ing Hill Close is like step­ping back into a gen­tler age. Geoff Croft, hav­ing seen the early dev­as­ta­tion, is de­lighted that the in­ti­mate plots have once again re­gained their tran­quil­lity. These gar­dens pro­vided flow­ers for the house and food for the ta­ble, but most of all they were places of re­lax­ation and refuge. I longed to have tea on the ter­race of the Plant Her­itage plot, to make toast and crum­pets on the black-leaded ranges and grap­ple with the smooth han­dles of the her­itage tools. Gar­dens are all about at­mos­phere and there’s a gen­tle am­bi­ence here, as warm as the au­tumn sun­shine on the rus­set ap­ples.

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