‘Ashmead’s Kernel’ (1700)
“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.