‘Apples are turning red
Roses sweet petals shed
Summer Goodbye, Summer Goodbye’
Well maybe with the wettest of Augusts forecast that is the way it seems!
One sign is the reddening of the Devonshire Quarrenden – Malus domestica – apples as they ripen towards the approach of autumn. The tree in the corner of the orchard bears a heavy crop of this eating apple with a distinct strawberry flavour. These are best eaten straight from the tree and are one of the earlier ripening apples.
Devonshire Quarrenden is a historically important English summer apple and one that has connections with Petersfield. It was recorded in 1677 by the local agriculturist John Worlidge in his book Vinetum Brittanicum. The plant possibly originated in Devon but acquired its French sounding name from Carenten, an apple growing region in France. By Victorian times it was widely grown throughout the UK.
Although not favoured as much these days as more modern varieties, Devonshire Quarrenden is still grown as an early ripening apple and is very good for juicing. It also has the benefit of being recommended by the RHS, as the flowers are an excellent attractant and nectar source for bees.
With its brilliant red fruit it should not be difficult to spot in the Garden!
As a bonus we are also inviting you to help yourselves from a box of windfalls.