Orchards

There are three main areas of fruit trees in the garden, the first is in the Naturalist’ Garden around the pond where there are apple trees of the cultivars ‘Blenheim Orange’, ‘Wheeler’s Russet’, ‘Lemon Pippin’ and ‘King of the Pippins’. The original ‘Blenheim Orange’ was discovered around 1740 at Woodstock near Blenheim Palace. Nearby on the boundary of the herb garden and the Six Quarters are pears including ‘Catillac’ and ‘Swan’s Egg’

On Baker’s Hill are several ‘London Pippin’ apple trees, this type of apple tree is thought to be at least as old as the 16th century and is also known as ‘Five Crown Pippin’ because of the five prominent ribs around the crown. There is also a ‘Knobby Russet’ whose apples look unattractive but actually taste very good.

In the orchard near the gardener’s area are a group of ‘French Crab’ apple trees, this type has been known from the late 1700s and may be the ones Gilbert White knew as ‘Winter’s Queening’. They stay on the tree well in to the autumn and keep well through the winter. Other apple trees in this area include ‘Dearings’ and ‘Golden Pippin’.

March 27th 1759 ‘Sawed-down those two espalier-trees in ye New-Garden that bore angular apples: & employed John Lassam to graft the stems with some Cuttings from the Royal-russet in the Orchard. Grafted two of the Golden-pippins in the Orchard with Cuttings from the tree of the same sort.’

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