Mary; How Does the Garden Grow! 17th July 2014

Lets talk apples!

The orchard of Rothe House garden is baking in the sun this week for sure, the ripening fruit talking in the rays and filling out nicely.  A wander through the 42 apple trees reveals an array of different shape trees and apples, color and texture.  Now would be an appropriate time to consult Mary, our gardener for a lesson on all things ‘apple’ related so that we might be able to tell one variety from another!

Mary explained the layout of the orchard, how the trees were 15 feet apart and in similar pollination groups.  The trees are grown on a M26 root stock which produced medium sized trees, this is important as it keeps them manageable and well proportioned to the size of the garden and not over powering.  Mary expects that the trees should grow to an approximate height of 25 feet!  An impressive site for the future no doubth; these mature well filled out apple trees!

So, the tree varieties, as mentioned there are 42 apple tree; this includes 6 variety of apples.  These varieties, like all the other plants in the garden are authentic to the 17th century and include Blood of the Boyne, Irish Peach, Lady Fingers, Scarlet and Brown Crofton and Kerry Pippin.  All these apples are ‘eaters’, with all but the Blood of the Boyne being ‘dual purpose’, meaning they are either an eater or desert apple.

So, a blog about different varieties of trees would not be complete without pictures of said apples…..

Blood of the Boyne

Blood of the Boyne.

Its not difficult to see how this particular variety of apple got its name! Its deep red blood like apples with there waxy coating that polish up beautifully with a quick rub.  Easily my favourite just on appearance! Blood of the Boyne are indeed the real eye catcher in the orchard! Unfortunately I cant convey their beautiful aroma; that is something you’ll have to experience yourself.

A quick rub and she shines beautifully!

A quick rub and she shines beautifully!

Brown Crofton.

Brown Crofton.

Clusters of Brown Crofton .

Clusters of Brown Crofton .

Scarlet Crofton, an apple introduced to Ireland in the early 1600's

Scarlet Crofton, an apple introduced to Ireland in the early 1600’s

 

Scarlet Crofton tree with its drooped slender branches.

Scarlet Crofton tree with its drooped slender branches.

 

Kerry Pippin.

Kerry Pippin.

Kerry Pippin tree laden down with fruit.

Kerry Pippin tree laden down with fruit.

 

Clusters of Kerry Pippin.

Clusters of Kerry Pippin.

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Irish Peach.

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Irish Peach tree, tall with with slender drooping branches.

 

Long slender apples known as Lady Fingers.

Long slender apples known as Lady Fingers.

So, now do you know your Blood of the Boyne from your Scarlett Crofton, or your Kerry Pippin from your Brown Crofton? No, me neither, perhaps as they say the proof is in the tasting!  But for tasting we’ll have to wait another little while.  Blood of the Boyne, Irish Peach and Kerry Pippin will be ready to harvest in August.  Brown Crofton will be ready come September and finally the Lady Fingers and Scarlett Crofton will be ripe in October.

So, how do you like them apples?! 😉

 

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