Fruit Trees

  • Have a horticultural Halloween!


    Halloween plants

    When it comes to plants at Halloween, it's about
    much more than pumpkins...

    The origins of Halloween are thought to be rooted in the Celtic celebration of Samhain, a festival to mark the season of bringing in the harvests in preparation for winter.

    It was thought that on this day, the 31 October, the boundaries between the worlds became blurred.

    The dead returned to haunt the living, causing terrible catastrophe and illness.

    Many myths and legends surround this day, with various rituals being performed in order to protect people from wandering evil spirits, as well as to predict fortunes and destinies.
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  • EnGage this autumn

    It took a trip to an Italian supermarket to fully appreciate the merit of greengages. To wit, a house full of sixteen hungry (and often hungover) souls presented with an array of nectarines, white peaches and  melons first thing in the morning and guess which fruit disappeared fastest? Yes...
  • A Landscape in Bloom - Cherry Blossom in Japan

    February Jobs

    The blossom on the cherry trees is one of the true delights of spring. In April and May clouds of beautiful delicate flowers ranging from the purest white to the most intense coral pinks adorn the trees in vast numbers, a truly magical and breathtaking sight.

    Their beauty has much cultural significance the world over, but is perhaps most commonly associated with the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
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  • Bramley Apple and Almond Pudding Cake

    This decadent cake is a brilliant way to use up any Bramley apples left over from the season. Serve warm with crème fraiche or even custard if you fancy, it will soak into the rich sponge and balance the tart apples

    Serves 8

    Bramley and Almond Pudding Cake
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  • Here we come a-wassailing!

    The resurgence of cider as a drink has led to more UK apple tree orchards being restored and planted, and ancient rituals like wassailing performed.

    Wassailing is an ancient practice dating back as far as the 11th century, and is a ritual still performed in cider orchards today at this time of year.

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  • Trees for a native autumn harvest


    Autumn larder

    A native autumn harvest – an extra special
    treat when it's from your own trees

    As the leaves start to colour and fall from the trees and the cooling air is heavy with the smell of wood smoke there is nothing more gratifying than getting wrapped up and going out to gather the season's harvests.

    Autumn is a most plentiful time of year. Along the hedgerows and verges plump ripe fruits hang from wayward trees and nuts crunch underfoot.

    And it's possible to create that natural bounty in your own garden, giving you the benefit of having wonderful ingredients for all manner of culinary delights right on your doorstep – and it's fantastic for wildlife too!

    With a little preparation this stockpile of preserved fruits and nuts will provide throughout the winter when little else is growing in the garden.
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  • Recipe: Homemade damson vodka


    Homemade damson vodka

    Looking just as rich and luscious as it tastes, your
    damson vodka could be ready for Christmas

    2013 has been a bumper year for damsons.

    A hot summer, with just enough rain to swell the fruit is best for damsons and results in branches that are groaning under the weight of all that fruit

    And while you can of course make damson jam, damson cheese, damson chutney and damson sauce, there is nothing quite like damson vodka.

    Decanted into decorative bottles this rich, syrupy liquor makes a perfect Christmas gift – and if you hurry, you might just be in time for this year's festivities. Give this a go, and we're sure that your friends and family will be glad you did!

    If you already have your damson harvest, great – if not, hopefully you will find some still on the trees. Failing that, try your local orchard or farm shop! So grab a bag and get picking.
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  • Cider anyone?!


    Yarlington cider apple

    Yarlington Mill apples are a popular choice among
    both amateur and professional cider makers

    Cider making is not only an ancient tradition in this country, it is an important aspect of British heritage.

    The Celts are known to have held the apple in extremely high regard, and there are numerous references in Celtic mythology praising it as a symbol of fruitfulness and immortality.

    The apple had many uses in Celtic civilization, but perhaps its best-loved application was the production of a cider made from crabapples.

    The art of cider making was improved further by the Romans, who planted well-ordered orchards of and caring for cider apple trees, and developed equipment to press the apples.

    However it was following the Norman Conquest of 1066 that caused the popularity of cider to rise significantly, and cider production spread far and wide.
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  • Recipe: An Autumn Fruit and Nut Crumble


    Ultimate fruit and nut crumble Apples, pears, blackberries, hazelnuts,
    pistachios... wow!

    Apples on the tree, nuts on the bush and brambles heaving with blackberries. Yup - Autumn is here.

    So we're going straight down the comfort route and bringing you the ultimate crumble... enjoy!

    It's loaded with fruit – apples, pears, and blackberries. And it's topped with a tasty crumble of oats, hazelnuts and pistachios. And a touch of cinnamon to warm things up.

    Ultimate fruit and nut crumble – a bit of comfort in a cold snap!
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  • Ancient and unusual fruits


    Unusual fruits - quince, fig and medlar

    If you fancy leaving the beaten track of apples, plums
    and the like, why not try growing some of these?

    Have you already tried your hand at growing popular orchard and garden fruit trees like apple, pear, plum and cherry?

    Has the thought already crossed your mind about growing something a little more peculiar. Something a bit more out of the ordinary, yet still a beautiful addition to the garden, and easy to care for?

    If so, here's a few facts on three ancient fruits – the fig, the quince and the medlar.

    Who knows, it just might give you a little encouragement to experiment!
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