One of the best apples around, James Grieve was awarded its RHS AGM in 1993 for its handsome apples and overall demeanour. The green fruit are large and attractively streaked with red while the flesh is cream and very, very juicy. Early in the season the fruit can be quite sharp and are used for cooking where they keep their shape which is useful in apple tarts or strudel. As the apple ages on the tree it sweetens but always retains that slight edge to make it so wonderfully refreshing. The texture is relatively soft, being more like a firm pear. Once picked in September, perfect specimens will store for a month or two while windfalls make marvellous juice. Importantly the predominantly pink but quite discreet blossom is remarkably frost proof so you don't lose your crop if there is an unseasonally late frost even though the blossoms is quite early being at the end of April. Another huge strength of this tree is that it is resistant to scab.
James Grieve is partially self-fertile and so will produce apples without another apple tree in the area but is much more productive if there is another pollinator in Groups B, C or D nearby. Try out another eater like the early Discovery with its fairy tale red apples or for a completely different style of apple the nutty Egremont Russet. James Grieve would be an essential tree to include in an orchard project because of its versatility and heritage. Apple trees are also beautiful and can be used as ornamental trees in the garden to sit under in the summer or to use as a support for climbers like the vivacious Bobbie James, a white single rose with a penchant for scaling heights. The blossom of apple trees coincides with the best of the bulbs; surround your James Grieve with Triumph tulips or lovely daffodils like Ice Follies.
Raised by James Grieve in Edinburgh, Scotland and introduced by his employers, Dickson's nurserymen, James Grieve was first recorded in 1893. It received the Award of Merit in 1897 and First Class Certificate in 1906 from the RHS and its AGM in 1993. The strange thing about such a well known apple is that no one is sure of its parentage. James Grieve has however been used extensively in breeding programmes and has spawned masses of other apples like Katy, Lord Lambourne, Greensleeves and Elton Beauty conferring on them its acidity and capacity to produce lots of juice.