Brogdale Horticultural Trust

Great Britian has a long heritage of apple growing stretching back to Roman Times.  Varieties we think of as quintessential American may be actually British; White Winter Pearmain comes immediately to mind. 

Brogdale Horticultural Trust is where the National Fruit Collection is housed, where full-sized trees are grown of 1,882 varieties of dessert and cooking apples, and 92 varieties of cider apples.  The collection was almost relocated, which resulted in a classic British row over it, but it has been settled and the collection is safe and endowed in place. 

Photos and descriptions of the ascensions are posted on their website, and the Collection is available for tours and tastings if you happen to be in Faversham, Kent.  Their website www.brogdale.orgis wonderful and also has advice for growing fruit, albiet in a much different climate than ours.

Joan Morgan has eaten her way through the entire collection and has written taste descriptions of them in her wonderful book, “The New Book of Apples“, required reading for any apple aficionado.  It is worth the purchase just for the wonderful watercolor illustrations of classic British apples.  I’ve been corresponding with Joan about my experiences growing about a dozen English apples in a hot climate, which she did not think possible.  She will be posting some of this correspondence on her Fruit Forum.  I sent her a ton of stuff, so it may take a while for her to sort through it and post it.

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