The photograph above is one of my favourites and was taken on a lovely autumn day in Lingen churchyard. Lingen is a small community on the Shropshire-Wales border with an ancient church surrounded by even older trees, brambles and evergreen shrubs. I was involved in a project to restore an orchard in the area and the event was celebrating the apple harvest with games, music and dance. There's something very special about apples, particularly the old varieties. Even their names are magical - Puckrupp Pippin, Cornish Gilliflower, Slack Ma Girdle, Peasgood's Nonsuch, Hambledon Deux Ans, Api Noir, Bloody Ploughman, Hoary Morning , Knotts Burr, Court Pendu Plat, Roundway Magnum Bonum... a lot like the shipping forecast, mysterious sounding words that have hidden meaning in their poetry, some telling of their place of origin, some of their looks and taste, others of the growers who developed them.
I took these photos in my front garden in September. I live ina modern cul-de-sac but have replaced the grass with
cornfield annuals (left) and planted one of the loveliest of English apples, Lord Lambourne (centre) outside the front door.
For me, an almost perfect colour and combination of sharp and sweet, developed by the Laxton Brothers of Bedford in 1907
The unusual fruit on the next right is a medlar, an ancient fruit grown by the Greeks and Romans.The fruit is related to the pear and
hawthorn and need to be 'bletted' (left until over-ripe) until eaten and definitely an acquired taste. This is the Nottingham variety with a
lovely white blossom and hairy leaves which turn red and russet in the autumn. The fruit on the far right is a quince, which passers-by
usually mistake for a pear Other trees in the garden include a Reverend W. Wilks (cooking apple) and a King James Mulberry .
That makes it sound like a big garden but it's not - they all grow next to one another and seem to get on okay.