Season of mellow fruitfulness

6 Sep
One of the costumed servants picking apples for our working 18th-century kitchen

Harvest: One of the costumed servants picking apples for our working 18th-century kitchen

We keep finding apples with bite marks lying on the paths and in the beds – the Greenup’s Pippins look ripe and delicious because they’re a large variety, but as anyone who tastes one quickly realises, they need to spend a couple more weeks ripening. Hopefully, the Indian summer will last and do the trick.

A lot of people have been admiring our apple crop because, nationally, it’s been such a bad year for apples. Here we have the advantage of being fully walled, which helps protect the garden from the inclement weather, making a better environment for our pollinating insects.

The other advantage we have is that we grow a wide variety of cottage garden plants spread over a long season, providing an ideal habitat for insects, particularly bees, which are one of our main pollinators.

For those who haven’t got high walls, to boost next year’s apple crop, put in as many traditional cottage garden plants as you can. Globe thistle, borage, marjoram, cone flowers and hyssop are particularly popular with bees. For more ideas, have a look at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website.

The apples are a key feature of Amanda’s autumn garden tours, which are on every Wednesday in September at 11.30am – if you’re in the area why not drop in?

If you’re able to visit us on another day, we have fascinating talks in the house at 11.30am and 2.30pm every day. They’re given by the costumed servants, who will be premiering some new subjects this autumn including Meet the Bigwigs (the weird world of Georgian fashion), Capon Ale and Turnip Wine (the story of 18th-century drinking) and Etiquette and Excess (the glories of Georgian dining).

Heritage apples in Wordsworth House garden

Healthy crop: Heritage apples in Wordsworth House garden

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